ISU MSS16 Robin Pradal reports from ESA Headquarters

“My internship is taking place at the European Space Agency (ESA) Launchers Department in Paris. The missions I will be undertaking during the next six months are focused on the business modeling of the Ariane 6 and Vega C programs.

This new generation of European launchers will sustain Europe’s guaranteed access to space for a lower cost than the current Ariane 5 program. The Ariane 6 program is probably one of most thrilling European space projects that are to take place during the next decade as it will have significant impacts on the European industrial, economic and political landscape.

When arriving at ESA’s Launchers Department and joining the Programme Support Office, it seemed very important to me to dedicate a fair amount of time in getting to know and understand the different layers of the programs, their organization and frame.

Julio Aprea, my internship mentor, is an ISU alumnus. He graduated from the Master of Space Studies (MSS) in 2005 and is now the alumni representative to the ISU board of trustees. Thanks to Julio and the rest of the team, I was able to start my internship in fantastic conditions and I hope to deliver quality results while learning enormously from such an exhilarating program.  

In times of European puzzlement, it is for me an honor to take part in a project that embodies cooperation and collaboration between member states and that will most certainly stand as the flagship of the European space industry."