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Aster X 2021: First space exercise in Europe


March 8, 2021 marks the launch of the first space exercise in Europe: “AsterX 2021”. Led by the Space Command of the French Air Force and Space, this tactical and operational training exercise in military space operations will take place, until March 12, at National Center for Space Studies (CNES) in Toulouse.

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Aster X 2021 First space exercise in Europe 02 The name "AsterX" was not chosen at random. It first refers to the first French satellite launched by a Diamant rocket. It is also a nod to the famous Gaul depicted in the French comics Asterix (Picture source: Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace)


“You are space fighters". This is how Colonel Christophe Michel, director of the" AsterX 2021 "exercise, ended his speech for the launch of this first edition. In front of him, about sixty participants made up of space operators ready to begin their training and the team of animation, planning and support of the exercise.

All of the CDE's operational units are participating in the exercise: the Space Operations Command and Control Center (C3OS) in Paris, the Military Satellite Observation Center (CMOS) in Creil, and the Military Monitoring Center for space objects (COSMOS) from Lyon. All of them work on set in close collaboration with CNES, industry and German and American partners.

Gathered in the same operating room, the participants are then confronted with complex but realistic situations:

During the week, the storyline specially designed for "Aster X" will intensify. In fact, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a fictitious continent, a geopolitical crisis is gradually growing between two regions. One of them is supported by France and its allies. Space Command units are mobilizing with their partners to monitor activity and respond to possible space attacks.

"This crisis between two regions will be fueled over the week," said the director of "AsterX". The aim is to sweep away all types of spatial events. Operators will have to deal - for example - with anti-satellite weapons fire, or even rendezvous in space or even solar weather phenomena. While training progresses in a simulated environment, it contributes to the training of military space forces and to the improvement of CDE operational processes.


Aster X 2021 First space exercise in Europe 03 In this virtual exercise, Space Command units are mobilizing with their partners to monitor activity and respond to possible space attacks (Picture source: Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace)