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French President Nicolas Sarkozy has unveiled a plan for a multibillion euro bond issue that will benefit a range of French and European aeronautics and space projects. The issue, set for next year, calls for spending 35 billion euros ($52.5 billion) on high-tech projects to help the country recover from the effects of the global economic crisis. Although the bulk of funding will go to universities and basic research and to promote sustainable development, 6.5 billion euros will be earmarked for high-impact industrial initiatives.Chief among the space projects destined to benefit are a new launcher to replace the Ariane 5 heavy-lift rocket and new satellite designs, including a spacecraft constellation to monitor carbon dioxide emissions. An additional space undertaking, a high-speed Internet satellite proposed by national space agency CNES, will be backed as part of a 4.5 billion euro investment in digital technologies. The spacecraft, dubbed MegaSat, would help connect households and small businesses beyond the reach of terrestrial broadband networks.In all, 7.5 billion euros worth of high-priority aerospace projects were put forward by aerospace industries assn Gifas, although not all will necessarily be covered by the bond issue.Some of these undertakings, particularly in the space domain, will be entirely funded by public money. The bill for MegaSat, however, would be footed through a public private partnership of private financing initiative.
os99, Ariane 6, MegaSat, CO2 monitoring
Copyright © 2013, Aviation Week, a division of McGraw Hill Financial.