Press releases

French Ambassador in Switzerland, Frédéric Journès, visits Thales Alenia Space’s plant in Zurich

Press releases

French Ambassador in Switzerland, Frédéric Journès, visits Thales Alenia Space’s plant in Zurich

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    The center of excellence for optical communications and space optoelectronics instruments

    Zurich, June 15, 2021 - Today, French Ambassador in Switzerland, Frédéric Journès and a delegation, have visited Thales Alenia Space’s plant in Zurich, where he was welcomed by the CEO of Thales Alenia Space in Switzerland, Elisabetta Rugi Grond.

    The Swiss space sector is an important part of the European and international space industry, with around 100 Swiss companies producing high-end products and critical technologies for space missions employing about 2500 people. Moreover, in 2016, an ESA Business Incubation Centre opened in Switzerland to support entrepreneurs to realize their innovative ideas and transfer technologies from space to Earth and from Earth to space. A key actor in this growing sector, Thales Alenia Space is ready to work together with the space ecosystem to raise the upcoming major challenges driven by more safety and security, more green and digital solution but also by the new dynamics in exploration missions.

    The Ambassador and the delegation have visited the center of competence for optical communications and space optoelectronics instruments where Thales Alenia Space developed the close up camera CLUPI dedicated to Exomars 2022 rover, the most relevant instrument that will enable scientists to view the samples extracted from the driller or the radiation monitors the Swiss plant produces for MTG and MetOp Second Generation missions and one of which was launched on-board Sentinel6 satellite last year. It is also from Zurich premises that Thales Alenia Space is developing the Optical Inter Satellites Links for Telesat’s Lightspeed Low Earh Orbit constellation, including 298 satellites, based on the Thales Alenia Space OPTEL-C product and where the compact OPTEL-µ®, another optical communication product to download data from LEO small satellites, is prepared for its first mission.

    "I am extremely honoured to welcome French Ambassador, Frederic Journes and the delegation in Thales Alenia Space’s excellence space centre in Zurich and to showcase more than 20 years of expertise in optical communications and optoelectronics instruments. We are proud to be a key actor in the space sector, carrying the Swiss expertise at the highest international level whether in the field of telecommunications, observation or exploration”, said Elisabetta Rugi Grond, CEO of Thales Alenia Space in Switzerland.

    “I am pleased to start my meeting day in the canton of Zurich with a visit at Thales Alenia Space facilities, a jewel of Franco-Swiss technology! This cooperation is emblematic of the cutting-edge technologies as well as of the know-how of excellence our two countries are achieving together” commented Frédéric Journès, Ambassador of France to Switzerland. He added: “I also would like to extend my congratulations to Thales Alenia Space in Switzerland for its outstanding contribution in the deployment of the Lightspeed constellation for the Canadian operator Telesat”.

    Illustrations: © Thales Alenia Space & ©Thales Alenia Space/Master Image Programmes


    Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of approximately 1.850 billion euros in 2020 and has around 7,700 employees in 18 sites in 11 countries across Europe and a plant in the USA.


    Sandrine Bielecki
    Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94

    Tarik Lahlou
    Tel: +33(0)6 87 95 89 56