Jean-Marie Luton

Jean-Marie Luton was born on August 4, 1942, in Chamalières, near Clermont-Ferrand in Central France. After graduating from the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique in 1961 with an engineering degree, he joined the Aeronomy Department of the French National Scientific Research Organization, CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique). He was named Special Research Advisor at CNES in 1971, the same year he was detached to the Ministry of Industrial and Scientific Development, where he participated in the European negotiations that led to the creation of the European Space Agency, ESA.

Jean-Marie Luton joined the French Space Agency, CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) in 1974 as Head of the Research Program Division. In 1975 he became Head of the Planning and Development Division, then Program Director in 1978. Mr. Luton was named Assistant Director General in 1984, in charge of relations with governmental authorities, relations between CNES and its subsidiaries, and financial planning.

As CNES delegate to the European Space Agency Council, he served as Chairman of the Administrative and Finance Committee, as well as representing CNES on the Arianespace Board of Directors.

In May 1987, Jean-Marie Luton joined the French firm Aerospatiale as Director of Space Programs in the Strategic and Space Systems Division.

He was named Director General of CNES in February 1989, and Director General of the European Space Agency in October 1990.

Jean-Marie LUTON has been appointed Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, effective July 1st 1997. On June 7, 2002, he is appointed Chairman of the Board of the company.

Mr. Luton is an Officier of the Legion of Honor and Commander of the National Order of Merit. He is also a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the Association Aéronautique et Astronautique de France (AAAF), which awarded Mr. Luton its Astronautics Prize in 1985.