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N° 3–2013: ESA pays tribute to Mr André Lebeau

5 March 2013

ESA pays tribute to Mr André Lebeau who passed away on Tuesday 26 February, shortly before his 81st birthday. Mr Lebeau, of French nationality, was the Deputy Director General of ESA and Director of Planning and Future Programmes (D/PFP) between 1975 and 1980.

Born in 1932, Mr Lebeau entered the Ecole Normale Supérieure in 1952 where he studied physics and was awarded a PhD in 1965.

After participating in a French expedition to Antarctica, he joined France's national research council, CNRS, in 1961 and then French space agency CNES in 1965.

In 1975, with the foundation of ESA, he joined the Agency as Deputy Director General and Director of Future Programmes and Planning under the Director Generalship of Roy Gibson. He left the Agency in 1980.

Between 1986 and 1995 Mr Lebeau was Director and then Director General of the French meteorological service, Météo France and, as such, has significantly contributed to the successful cooperation between ESA and Eumetsat. His next appointment was as President of CNES and, as such, he also became Head of the French Delegation to ESA. He also served as President of the Eumetsat Council and Vice-President of the World Meteorological Organization.

More recently, he chaired the Advisory Committee set up by the Directorate of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications (D/TIA) to accompany the development of Integrated Applications and was a member of the Advisory Council of the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI).

André Lebeau was a faithful friend of the Agency, much involved in its construction and development.

Mr Lebeau was the author of numerous scientific publications but also other works of a more strategic and forward-looking nature. He also published a collection of his conversations with Roy Gibson, ESA's first Director General entitled "Mémoires/Recollections", which covers, among other matters, his work at the Agency from 1975 to 1980.

With his passing, the space world has lost a great thinker and a truly cultivated man with interests ranging from Greek Antiquity to the world of tomorrow.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU.

ESA has Cooperation Agreements with eight other Member States of the EU and is discussing an Agreement with the one remaining (Bulgaria). Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working actively with the EU, for the implementation of the programmes Galileo and Copernicus.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

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