On December 21, 2016 Air Liquide organized a round table with the theme “Space Exploration: the energy challenge” in its space industry production facilities in Sassenage, near Grenoble.
In parallel with the recent signature of contracts for the future European launch vehicle, Ariane 6, and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of MELFI, Air Liquide wanted to bring together the main players of the space industry to discuss a topical subject: “Space Exploration: the energy challenge”. To debate this subject, François Darchis, a Member of the Group's Executive Committee, had the pleasure of welcoming CNES CEO, Jean-Yves Le Gall; the Director of the ESA's European Astronauts' Center, Frank De Winne; the Manager of space energy systems for the DLR's institute of thermodynamic engineering, Andre Suchaneck; as well as two students from Grenoble's University Space Center, the CSUG. This round table, chaired by the Editor in Chief of Aerospatium magazine, Stefan Barensky, gave rise to fruitful discussions between the panelists, as well as the numerous people in the room. Using hydrogen as a source of energy in space, and on the moon in particular, seems to be one of the most promising solutions. Hydrogen energy is already used on Earth in response to the challenge of climate change, which is brought on by transportation among other factors. The Deputy of Isère and former French Minister for Higher Education and Research, Geneviève Fioraso, concluded the day by sharing the conclusions of her report, submitted to the Prime Minister in July 2016, concerning the future of the space industry: “OpenSpace : l’ouverture comme réponse aux défis de la filière spatiale” (OpenSpace: openness as a response to the challenges faced by the space industry).
Following this event, full of shared experiences, one thing is sure; space continues to inspire innovation, both in space as well as here on Earth!