Broadcast 851 (Special Edition)

13 Dec 2007 Christophe Bonnal
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Guest: Christophe Bonnal. M. Christophe Bonnal of CNES - Launcher Directorate was the guest for this Space Show program. We started our discussion with Christophe with a question from an American living in France. The question asked about European and French entrepreneurism in space and why, according to the listener, Europe was behind the U.S. in creating an entrepreneurial space industry. You will certainly want to hear how M. Bonnal responded to this very interesting question. Then we talked about space tourism and the manned space program. There were lots of listener questions ranging from the interest in space tourism among the European general population to questions about risk as perceived by the general population and by governments or the space agencies such as CNES, ESA, etc. Again, this is a discussion you will not want to miss. Christophe is a very strong supporter of space tourism and we talked about private human access to space, suborbital and orbital tourism and the space vehicle announced by Eads Astrium. Listeners asked our guest about his opinion of the Chinese space program, the possibility that China may get to the Moon before the U.S., and how would France and ESA respond to such a development. As you will hear, China is not viewed the same in Europe as we view it in the U.S. and M. Bonnal did not see China’s lunar attempt as a major threat. Listen to our discussion for full details on this subject. We then focused on orbital debris, the Chinese ASAT test from earlier this year, and other orbital debris issues such as repairing and maintaining satellites to trying to actually remove the debris from orbit. One listener asked about using new and different materials for space craft which would burn up faster, but Christophe did not think much of this idea. He went on to explain which materials are usually used and why there are not materials that are likely to eliminate the debris problem. One point he made over and over again during the show was the need to understand the seriousness of the orbital debris problem. If something is not done to mitigate this problem, space will be unusable in 200-300 years and space travel and use of space will just be a memory to our descendants. As he gave us this warning several times during the show, please pay attention to what he says. He is very clear this is a serious issue. We also talked about the upcoming IAA First Symposium on Private Manned Access to Space, May 28-30, 2008 in Arcachon, France. The call for papers has been extended and abstracts are still being accepted. You can find out about this conference by visiting As you will hear, we covered many other topics and went into several of the topics in great detail. If you want to follow up with M. Christophe Bonnal by email with questions or comments, please use



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