European Space Agency: researcher from Nantes appointed head of the Space Science Advisory Board

As of January 1, 2024, Olivier Grasset, geophysicist at the Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géosciences (LPG – Nantes Université – Université d’Angers – CNRS) and currently Vice-President Research and Open Science at Nantes Université, will chair the Space Science Advisory Committee, one of the highest scientific bodies of the European Space Agency (ESA), for a three-year term.

Olivier Grasset The Space Science Advisory Committee (SSAC) is the European Space Agency’s (ESA) main advisory body on all matters relating to space exploration. Bringing together a panel of confirmed experts, the council is responsible for monitoring all projects in the exploration program (solar heliosphere and magnetospheres, planetology, astronomy and astrophysics, cosmology and fundamental physics) from the design phases of future missions through to the end of in-flight operations.

Olivier Grasset will soon take over as Chairman of this committee, with the task of reporting to ESA’s 22 member states on the recommendations of his group of experts, based on scientific considerations, and advising the European Space Agency on its future strategic orientations. A chairman’s post that requires “the ability to take a step back and have a very good understanding of the different fields of space science.”

Olivier Grasset has been an ESA expert for several years now. From 2010 to 2012, he was co-leader of the scientific team that designed the JUICE mission to Jupiter, to be launched in May 2023. He then joined the Solar System Exploration group (2014 to 2016), of which he was chairman from 2017 to 2019, and was a member of the expert committee that recommended the Voyage 2050 space program in 2021.

Published on December 14th, 2023