Growth of spatial engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique

If the CSEP has been training polytechnic students in spatial engineering for almost 10 years, it is only within the framework of its projects. Thus, the creation of the sponsorship program Espace: Science et Défis du Spatial (ESDS) is a significant step, since it anchors space in the 3rd year specialization program of the polytechnique cycle (equivalent M.Sc).

After a very positive first year, this ceremony formalizes the motivation of the program’s two sponsors: ThalesAlenia Space, and ArianeGroup.

An adapted pedagogical curriculum

This 3rd year Advanced Study Program (PA) is based on fundamental courses in physics, applied mathematics or mechanics on the one hand, and on the other hand on project-based teaching with the support of researchers and engineers from the research center, ONERA or sponsors. Given the fundamentally pluri-disciplinary nature of space, each student chooses courses from the catalog of other APs at the Ecole Polytechnique. Thus some may choose to train in cosmology, where others will choose cybersecurity or compressible aerodynamics.

Numerous project topics are proposed to students. They can be advanced research topics, or topics more applied to current problems in the aerospace sector. For example, two subjects concern the trajectory control of a satellite with an electric propulsion, jointly supervised by ThalesAlenia Space and the CSEP.

A small committee ceremony.

ThalesAlenia Space and ArianeGroup, patrons of the program and world-renowned experts in the field of space, are making their specialized knowledge available to help carry out the students’ space projects. On Tuesday, October 13, Hervé Derrey (Chairman and CEO of Thales Alenia Space), André-Hubert Roussel (President of ArianeGroup), Yves Laszlo (Director of Teaching and Research at X) and Jean-Paul Cottet (General Delegate of the X Foundation) met to inaugurate the sponsorship program, which combines the excellence of the X research center’s laboratories with the industrial activities of its patrons.

Front row, from left to right, François Deveaud (Deputy Director of Teaching and Research), Pascal Chabert (Director of Research at the Plasma Physics Laboratory and ESDS program leader), Jean-Paul Cottet (General Delegate of the Fondation de l'X), Lionel Suchet (Deputy Director of the Centre National d'Etude Spatial), Hervé Derrey (Chairman and CEO of Thales Alenia Space), André-Hubert Roussel (President of ArianeGroup), Yves Laszlo (Director of Teaching and Research at X); Second row, left: Arnaud Balland (X2018, initiator of the Back-on-Earth project) and Hillaire Bizallion (X2018, member of the IonSat project).

Front row, from left to right, François Deveaud (Deputy Director of Teaching and Research), Pascal Chabert (Director of Research at the Plasma Physics Laboratory and ESDS program leader), Jean-Paul Cottet (General Delegate of the Fondation de l'X), Lionel Suchet (Deputy Director of the Centre National d'Etude Spatial), Hervé Derrey (Chairman and CEO of Thales Alenia Space), André-Hubert Roussel (President of ArianeGroup), Yves Laszlo (Director of Teaching and Research at X); Second row, left: Arnaud Balland (X2018, initiator of the Back-on-Earth project) and Hillaire Bizallion (X2018, member of the IonSat project).

Thanks to all its actions, its interdependence with students, the support of its patrons and partners, the excellence of its teaching and projects, “Space, Sciences and Space Challenges” meets the expectations of students for space and accompanies them in their projects.

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