What Is Happening in Space?


The aerospace sector is in a state of flux, with new issues at stake. Here are three recent news items to help you make sense of it.


Do you know Allan Petre, the new figure of Nasa?

This young Frenchman, aged 24, has an unusual background: he began studying business administration, then changed his path to develop his interest in thermal and energy engineering at university and joined an engineering school, the Higher School of Mechanics and Aeronautics. Due to his perseverance and determination, he joined NASA and was soon praised for his achievement by the media, the French consulate in Boston and even President Emmanuel Macron. He is the perfect example for all students of a path that’s not set in stone. Changes and redirections in a completely different field are possible and can lead to great opportunities and brilliant careers. Although he’s still in the early stages of these projects, Allan Petre is often compared to the new Thomas Pesquet (the famous spationaut). As everyone understands, he’s a promising profile who’s ready to deliver exciting adventures.

2. HUMANS WON’T BE ON THE MOON UNTIL 2025: The delay of the Artemis mission

At the beginning of this new year, NASA announced the delay of more than a year of its Artemis 2 and 3 missions to the Moon. This is due to delays encountered by SpaceX’s Starship. NASA says it is facing a delay for safety reasons, but at the same time, development of the starship has encountered setbacks, affecting the timetable of the entire mission. “We’re adjusting our schedule, aiming for Artemis 2 in September 2025, and September 2026 for Artemis 3,” said Bill Nelson, the head of NASA at a press conference. Artemis 2 was previously scheduled for late 2024, and Artemis 3 for late 2025. This is another difficulty for NASA after the failure of Peregrine, the lunar lander that was supposed to mark the return of the American presence on the moon.

3. THE NEW SPACE CONQUEST: Will the Chinese soon be on the moon?

China has been making no secret of its ambitions for space and wants to rival the United States on the moon. Beijing would like to send a taikonaut to the moon by 2030. Indeed, Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) reported that all lunar hardware developments had been launched. Current programs include the future CZ-10 lunar launcher, scheduled to make its first flight in 2027. The ultimate goal would be to send 3 taikonauts to the moon in 2029, to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese have already carried out the Shenzou-16 mission, involving 3 astronauts completing a five-month stint aboard the country’s space station. In addition, the Chinese space station Tiangong has plans to expand, becoming more operational and multifunctional. Paradoxically, the development of Tiangong would open the way to cooperation in transnational scientific research projects. Moreover, despite the postponement of the Artemis mission, Bill Nelson believes that the Chinese won’t get to the moon first. All in all, although the Sino-American rivalry persists and the Americans find this delay unfortunate, China looks forward to making great advances in the space sector in the coming years.


AFP, Par Le HuffPost. “Les Astronautes de La Nasa Ne Retourneront Finalement Pas Sur La Lune En 2025.” Le HuffPost, January 10, 2024. https://www.huffingtonpost.fr/science/article/artemis-3-la-nasa-n-ira-pas-sur-la-lune-en-2025-la-mission-repoussee-d-un-an_228120.html.

Artaud , Ophélie. “Qui Est Allan Petre, Ce Français de 24 Ans Qui va Bientôt Rejoindre La Nasa ?” Europe 1, November 27, 2023. https://www.europe1.fr/sciences/qui-est-allan-petre-ce-francais-de-24-ans-qui-va-bientot-rejoindre-la-nasa-4216765.

Decourt, Rémy. “La Chine Confirme Son Ambition d’aller Sur La Lune Avant 2030.” Futura, June 1, 2023. https://www.futura-sciences.com/sciences/actualites/exploration-humaine-chine-confirme-son-ambition-aller-lune-avant-2030-62734/.

Legavre-Jerome, Ulysse. “Du 93 à La NASA, Le Merveilleux Parcours d’Allan Petre Raconté Par l’intéressé.” Les Echos, November 27, 2023. https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/air-defense/du-93-a-la-nasa-le-merveilleuxparcours-dallan-petre-raconte-par-linteresse-2031410.

Minaca, Manon. “SpaceX, Le Facteur Déterminant Du Report Des Missions Artemis Vers La Lune.” www.20minutes.fr, January 11, 2024 . https://www.20minutes.fr/sciences/artemis/4069814-20240110-espace-report-missions-artemis-vers-lune-decision-logique-vu-retards-spacex.

Zaffagni, Par Marc. “La Chine VA Agrandir SA Station Spatiale Tiangong.” Science & vie, October 9, 2023. https://www.science-et-vie.com/ciel-et-espace/la-chine-va-agrandir-sa-station-spatiale-tiangong-115104.html.

Emilie Koch

Emilie Koch

Dear Readers,

I'm delighted to have joined the Global Observer team for this academic year! I have a particular interest in international relations, as it's my field of study, and I'll be keen to keep you up to date with the latest world news!

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