In the Spotlight

Space and oceans in the spotlight at the Prix Bulles Cardin 2024

In the Spotlight

Space and oceans in the spotlight at the Prix Bulles Cardin 2024

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    Imagery from Thales Alenia Space satellites provides backdrop for awards ceremony

    The key role of satellites in surveying Earth and the impacts of climate change on its environment were in the spotlight on May 17 at the Prix Bulles Cardin awards, named for the Palais Bulles or “Bubble Palace” owned by the fashion house’s founder Pierre Cardin. This year's event allying innovation, ecology, and fashion took as its theme Ocean & Space for Our Planet. On this occasion, House of Pierre Cardin and Thales Alenia Space underlined their shared belief in the need to focus attention on the climate emergency.

    As well as distinguishing existing initiatives, this event seeks to encourage convergence between space, oceanography, fashion, architecture, environmental conservation and other sectors.

    Earth observation as inspiration

    Delving deeper into Earth’s oceans
    Palais Bulles_2024_2

    © Thales Alenia Space

    The 2024 Prix Bulles Cardin awards highlighted the role of satellites built by Thales Alenia Space, some of which were assembled at the manufacturer’s facility in Cannes, only a few miles from the event venue. One of these is SWOT, a revolutionary satellite for studying ocean topography and surface waters. Launched in 2022, this marvel of technology is already helping us analyze and better understand the effects of coastal circulation on marine life, ecosystems, water quality, and energy transfers.


    SWOT © Thales Alenia Space/Imag[IN]

    A joint mission of the French space agency CNES and NASA, SWOT is setting out to measure water height across almost the entire globe on its mission to complete one of the most comprehensive surveys ever of Earth’s surface waters. It’s thought that about one-third of the carbon dioxide emitted every year by humans is absorbed by the planet’s oceans, so a closer understanding of how they interact with the atmosphere is crucial. This unique satellite will survey 90% of Earth’s oceans, seas, lakes, and reservoirs. SWOT is also the first satellite to feature a controlled atmospheric reentry system designed to generate no orbital debris when it reaches the end of its operational lifespan.


    This mission embodies Thales Alenia Space’s commitment to delivering new insights into climate change for the scientific community through unprecedented oceanography and hydrology data.

    Sentinels in the vanguard of environmental monitoring


    Copernicus © Thales Alenia Space

    As a backdrop to the awards ceremony, projections of images acquired by the European Copernicus program’s Sentinel satellites illustrated a range of climate phenomena, from ice melt in Alaska to deforestation and rising sea level in the Maldives. The Sentinel satellites keep a daily check on our planet, delivering precious data to the scientific community and to first responders in the event of natural disasters, while also helping to gage the effectiveness of national initiatives designed to curb global warming.

    Fly me to the Moon

    Lunar Gateway_Artistic_view_2022

    Lunar Gateway © Thales Alenia Space

    More than 50 years after the last Apollo mission, all eyes are more than ever on the Moon. Virtual-reality demonstrations about the Lunar Gateway gave guests at the awards ceremony a taste of what life could look like for astronauts sojourning for long periods on this future cislunar outpost.


    Lunar Gateway Virtual Reality demonstration © Thales Alenia Space

    Satellite Dress: when space meets fashion

    © Pierre Cardin

    Thales Alenia Space supplied Northrop Grumman with all of the pressurized cargo modules (PCM) for the Cygnus cargo spacecraft that ferry food, water, fuel, science experiments, tools, and personal belongings twice a year to the crew of the International Space Station (ISS). The multilayer insulation protecting the spacecraft from extreme temperature excursions in orbit inspired House of Pierre Cardin to create a stunning “Satellite Dress” from this original material, representing the fusion of fashion and space technology and showing how technical innovation can fuel other creative industries.

    About the Prix Bulles Cardin


    © Thales Alenia Space

    The Prix Bulles Cardin awards, inaugurated in 2022 at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, enshrine Pierre Cardin’s sustainable development legacy. Named for the Palais Bulles (Bubble Palace), a futurist symbol of sustainability, the awards highlight House of Pierre Cardin’s commitment to an ecological future. Initially focused on fashion, the awards have extended their reach to distinguish a range of environmental initiatives, and the fashion house is stepping up its efforts to adopt eco-friendly practices, using recycled fabrics and innovative production models.

    While Pierre Cardin made a name for himself in the 1960s for “space age” fashion, the watchword today for his heir, Rodrigo Cardin, is no longer futurism but rather a “realistic” future.

    This future is unfortunately under threat from global warming. Consequently, the Pierre Cardin fashion house is pursuing a revolutionary vision, drawing its inspiration from space and ocean exploration in “new space” and the “blue economy”. For Rodrigo Cardin, as well as being sources of inspiration, these “new frontiers” must flourish through virtuous economic development that preserves our planet: “Fashion and design are universal languages that must above all convey meaning and a new sustainable development philosophy.”

    In inviting Thales Alenia Space to take part in the Prix Bulles Pierre Cardin awards, its artistic director and CEO is looking to underline one of the key principles guiding the brand’s creative approach: “Technology, science and progress in space are sources of inspiration and beauty, and therefore of meaning and emotions.” And it is precisely this emotion and aesthetic that forges ties between people and restores their hope in the planet’s future. The findings of research scientists working in the fields of oceanography and hydrology are confirming that the fate of our “blue dot” is intertwined with the relationship of cause and effect between space and the oceans regulating its climate…

    Ocean & Space for Our Planet 2024 demonstrated for this second edition of the event that art, fashion and the creations of Pierre Cardin combined with technology advances in space, science, exploration, and the study of the ocean depths can herald a virtuous and more sustainable future.