Little is known about it, but Monaco is home to some of the most advanced companies in space technology. We take you to discover an area that usually remains very secret.
“It’s a satellite barely bigger than a Louboutin shoebox” laughs Francesco Bongiovanni, CEO ofOrbital in Monaco. A young start’up that appeared in the Fontvieille district two years ago specializing in nanosatellites, so called because of their small size and which, adds its creator, “are worth about a hundred times less than the others. “But they obviously do not have the same vocation.
And he is not the only one on the Rock to develop projects related to space. Two other companies based in Monaco have made it their specialty, SSI Monacosat, in telecommunications activities and Venturi which she develops Rovers capable of circulating on the Moon, just that!
Until then Monaco was rather discreet on these questions. But a few days ago the government announced the creation of a “Monegasque space affairs office”. Objective, precisely, to promote know-how outside the Principality. And it is already very advanced because the links with NASA are strong.
For Frédéric Genta, in charge of the Digital Transition within the Monegasque government, “this recognition is fundamental”.
It has been fifteen years since we developed the industry around satellites. “Fundamental in terms of sovereignty“specifies Frédéric Genta, “having our airwaves”.
Not to mention the economic aspect. About fifty people currently live in this industry on the Rock. “In the future we will be able to participate in calls for tenders from NASA. Companies in the sector already established in Monaco have regular relations with NASA. The companies have research laboratories here and in Los Angeles” hammers this member of the government.
Francesco Bongiovanni is very proud to present his premises to us. “We have five engineers here in Monaco. Our laboratory occupies three hundred square meters, there is research, production equipment. “
“Our job is to develop miniature satellites with the vocation of providing data on the environment, education and climate. One aspect is close to his heart, the climate.
Our nanosatellite collected atmospheric data that we sold to an American meteorological agency.
It is not left out on the other two components : “on education, it’s an integrated program aimed at 13-17 year olds, we organize engineering courses, practical work using stratospheric balloons and then the children make a small satellite themselves! “
Three schools are involved in this project in the Principality. And another in Switzerland.
Last section related to the environment:“I can’t tell you everything but it concerns the marine world.”
A theme that found a certain echo with Prince Albert II. As well as the development of technologies related to space, which is taken up here by New Space.
– France 3 Côte d’Azur (@ F3cotedazur) June 4, 2021
“You know all of this is linked to its own initiatives, the Albert II Foundation, the issue of the environment, the economy and above all a certain added value, a prestige and allowing Monaco to have sovereignty over these issues. . “