Jacques BLAMONT

Biographie mise à jour en 2010

Address : French Space Agency CNES, 2 Place Maurice Quentin, 75039 Paris, France.

Email : Jacques.blamont cnes.fr

Jacques Blamont graduated at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (class of 1948, agrégation des sciences physiques 1952) and received his D. Sc. from Paris University for his discovery of phase coherence in the multiple scattering of resoning light in excited atomic states under A. Kastler. He was elected professor at the University of paris (1957) where he continued to teach to 1996. He is now emeritus professor, University of Paris VI. He created and directed the Service d’aéronomie du CNRS (1958-1985) and was one of the few given the task of creating the French space agency CNES (1962) as scientific and technical director. In 1972, he became chief scientist and adviser to the Director General of CNES (to 1993). He is now adviser to the President of CNES.

Research Achievements. Involved in space research, J. Blamont discovered the turbopause (1959), the interstellar wind (1970), the hydrogen envelope (or halo) of comets (1971). The polar noctiluxent clouds (1973). He made the first measurement of the temperature of the neutral atmosphere from 100 to 500 km, of the dynamic parameters of the mesopause region. He was the first to measure Einstein’s general relativity red shift on the Sun. with his students he developed the scientific ballooning in Europe and the lidar technique for atmospheric probing. He proposed and helped the exploration of planets by balloons, with the successful flights of two balloons in the atmosphere of Venus during the Soviet mission Vega. He developed an image compression device which has been widely used in planetary missions around the Moon, Mars and Titan. He was a prime investigator on many Soviet and US spacecrafts (Voyager, Pioneer, Venus, Vega, Phobos).

Other contributions. J. Blamont has always promoted cooperation programs in space. He provided the payload for the first Indian rocket launch (November 1963) and the Centaure rockets launched immediately afterwards (January 1964), and helped V. Sarabhai to conceive and start ISRO. Starting with the various missions to Comet Halley associated with Vega, in organized the joint US-USSR operation linked with the Soviet Phobos mission and provided telecom relays placed on Nasa’s Mars observer and Mars Global Surveyor, which became essential in the recovery of data transmitted by Martian rovers.

Awards and Honors. J. Blamont is a Member of the French Académie des Sciences (1979) and Foreign Associate of the Indian National Science Academy (1978), the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (1979) and of the American Philosophical Society (2002). He has received the Guggenheim (1967) at the Theodore Von Karman (1989) Medal of the International Academy of Astronautics, the Vikbraun Sarabhai Medal (1994) and the Space Science Award (2004) of COSPAR, the Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (1972) and the Distinguished Service Medal (2000) of NASA, etc…

Voir aussi la biographie en français sur le site de l’Académie des Sciences http://www.academie-sciences.fr/membres/B/Blamont_Jacques.htm



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