Christophe Bonnal

Bachelor Degree in 1977

Engineer Preparatory School (Lycée St Louis – Paris) from 1978 to 1980

Engineer degree from Ecole Centrale de Lille – IDN in 1983


Various training sessions with Flopetrol (Indonesia), CEA (Saclay-France) and Risø Nal Lab (Denmark).

Military duties (1983) as Sports Teacher in a public school in Germany


Fluent in English (1.5 years in the US as a youngster)

Fairly fluent in Danish (Danish mother)

Notions of Russian (first language at school) and German

Sports: Swimming (Life-guard state diploma), Rugby, Ski



1984 – 1992                       Aerospatiale – now Ariane Group

Les Mureaux – France


1984 – 1987                 Technical studies on Ariane 4 and Ariane 5 launchers:

Dynamic behavior of the launcher – Pogo effect

Trajectory and Transitory phases studies for Ariane 5


1987 – 1990                 Futures projects – Project manager for:

ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) and RRL (Reusable Rocket Launchers)

EAL (Liquid Booster on Ariane 5)

PLS (Small Launcher)

Responsible for Space Debris activities (from 1987 to today)


1990 – 1992                 Member of the Ariane 5 Industrial Architect Team, responsible for:

Mission Analyses, Trajectories – Performances

Stage kinematics, Mass budgets


Since 1992                 CNES – Launcher Directorate

                                    Evry, then Paris – France


1992 – 1997                Ariane 5 Programme Directorate – Systems Division

Responsible for various development activities:

Mission Analyses, Trajectories – Performances – Mass budgets

Phase syntheses

Responsible for Launcher System Tests:

Full scale Dynamic Mock-up tests (EAP, Upper-Composite tests)

Combined tests (EMC, shocks, separations, acoustics, thermics…)

Flight Tests:        Author of the Technological Flight Tests Specifications

Measurement Plan

Previsions – Post Flight Evaluations – Chair of 502 Level 0

1997 – 2005                  Future Projects                                                                                                                                                             Responsible for the preliminary studies of Upper Cryotechnic Stage of Ariane 5                                                           Co-Author of the ESC Programme File


1998                 Head of the Future Launchers Division (then Senior Project Manager)

CNES representative in numerous Working Groups (Groupe Prospective  Arianespace, Launcher Cooperation: JAXA – Tsniimash – NASA)


Division in charge of some 20 topics

Market analysis, strategy, with Arianespace, and Defense aspects

New Programmes Proposals (ESC, P80, …)

Improvements of Ariane 5 – Ariane 5 alternatives – ELV 2020 initiative

Reusable Launchers: ANGEL proposal, Pre-X proposal, …

Project manager for ESA FLTP and OURAL (with Russia)

Small, mini, micro launchers, advanced propulsion, advanced missions


              2005                    Senior Expert – Technical Associate Directorate

Syntheses on multidisciplinary activities on any launcher, future projects or R&T

Member or Panel Chair of Programme Reviews for European Launchers, current or future.

In charge of the organization of CNES-DLA tutorial activities, in house (Cours Lanceur) and at European level (Engineer schools, Universities, Professionals …)


2018                    Senior Expert – Launcher Directorate

                            In charge of outreach for the Launcher Directorate

Representative of Launcher Directorate in international fora, Associations, Academies, …

Numerous technical expertise activities



Since 1992                   Responsible for Space Debris Activities (Launchers) in CNES

Member of the ECSS Working Group on Space Debris

Member of ISO/TC20/SC14/WG7 on Space Debris

Representative of France within IADC (Inter Agency Debris Committee)

Former Chairman of IADC Working Group 4 in charge of mitigation



Full Member of  the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) –Commission V.

Corresponding member of Air and Space Academy (AAE)

Fellow of Association Aéronautique & Astronautique de France (3AF).

Member of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).


Chairman of the IAA Space Debris Committee.

Chairman of the IAA “Private Human Access to Space” (PHAS) congress 2019

Coordinator of the A6 Symposium “Space Debris” of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC)

Member of the IPC Steering Group of the Intenational Astronautical Federation (IAF)

Member of the of the IAC Progam Evolution Working Group  and IAF Honours & Awards Committee (HAC)

Founding member and General Secretary of  EUCASS (European Conference for Aerospace Sciences). Chairman of the EUCASS “System Integration” symposium. Co-chair EUCASS 2019 Technical Committee


Co-Editor of “Acta Astronautica”

Co-Editor of the “CEAS Space Journal”.

Co-Editor of “EUCASS Advances in Aerospace Sciences” books.

Co-Editor of AIAA “Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets”

Co-Editor of the IAA Space Debris Position Papers


180+ professional publications (Acta Astronautica, IAF, AIAA, COSPAR, ISTS, 3AF, Euroconsult…).

Book “Pollution Spatiale” (Belin Editors)

Member of the JAXA-ISAS Evaluation Board 2013 (Japan)

Expert for European Commission, ANR (France), NSERC (Canada) and CSTN (Terminology, France)


5 patents.

Awards:               Prix de l’Innovation Aéronautique et Spatiale 2005 – Aéroclub de France.