From Satellites to Space Tourism: The 99th IET Kelvin Prestige Lecture and Dinner 2008

Savoy Place, London
Thursday, 13 March 2008

Robert Lainé, CTO, EADS Space

When Neil Armstrong uttered the immortal words “That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind” he captured the imagination of a generation. Just a few years previously a lunar landing would have been consigned to the realms of science-fiction. Who would have thought that under half a century later sub orbital space travel would be available to the general public.

Going into space to explore what is unreachable to most humans has been a long lasting dream of humanity. In this fascinating lecture Robert Lainé, CTO of EADS Space, will discuss the current developments and direction of space tourism.

Space exploration started just 50 years ago with Gagarin, followed by the moon exploration and then regular orbital flight of astronauts to MIR and the International Space Station. However the dream of going in orbit is not really accessible today to non professional astronauts. Following Space Ship1 flight to 100 km altitude, market analysis have revealed that a significant part of the wealthy population is interested in the sub-orbital flight to experience few minutes of weightlessness and the view of earth from space.

The presentation will give an overview of the logical link between Astrium space activities and space tourism and present the corresponding craft.

About the Speaker
Robert Lainé, Chief Technical Officer, EADS Space

The CTO, reporting directly to CEO François Auque, is at the heart of organisation developments. As CTO, Mr Lainé will develop synergies between the satellites and space transportation branches as well as R&D strategy at EADS SPACE level. He has therefore an essential role in preparing the company for the future.

Mr Lainé, of French nationality, has been in the space business since 1970. He has held a variety of senior positions in technical and programme management within industry and at the European Space Agency (ESA), where he led scientific exploration programmes such as the Giotto comet probe and the XMM-Newton space telescope, and spaceflight projects, notably the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) programme for the European cargo vessel that will serve the ISS. Recently, as head of ESA's Launcher Division, he has been a key player in the Ariane 5 return-to-flight programme.

Robert Lainé holds a degree in engineering from the Ecole Nationale Supérieur d'Electricité Appliquée, Paris.

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Added by emilywoodman on February 11, 2008