Press releases

Thales Alenia Space pays tribute to Jean-Claude Husson

Press releases

Thales Alenia Space pays tribute to Jean-Claude Husson

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    Toulouse, May 3, 2021 - Thales Alenia Space, the joint company between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), has paid tribute to former CEO Jean-Claude Husson, who passed away on April 28, 2021 at the age of 83. Because of his vision, humanity, pioneering spirit and passion for space, which he did so much to develop as an industry, he played a key role in a number of ambitious international projects in collaboration with the United States (NASA and industry), Russia (space agency Roscosmos and industry), Japan, China and India. He was an acknowledged pioneer in the development of constellations, end-to-end telecommunications systems and space-based altimetry.

    Jean-Claude Husson started his career with the French Naval Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (SHOM), in particular working in Madagascar and Mayotte. He held a number of management positions at French space agency CNES, including as Director of the Toulouse Space Center, and subsequently joined Ifremer, the French oceanographic research institute. In 1986, Jean-Claude Husson moved to Alcatel Espace as Chief Executive Officer, and was later named Chairman, a position he held until the end of 2001, when he retired.

    He was the architect behind the merger of Alcatel Espace with Aerospatiale’s satellite division and Sextant Avionics’ space business, creating Alcatel Space. Jean-Claude Husson helped write the history of Thales Alenia Space.

    Even after his retirement Jean-Claude Husson remained very active in the space sector, as President of the French Academy of Air and Space.

    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 ten countries.


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

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

    Marija Kovac
    Tel: +39 (0)6 415 129 91