Friday, February 15, 2008

Nicolas Sarkozy urges Mars vision

Visiting the Ariane rocket launch site in French Guiana, French president Nicolas Sarkozy urged great international cooperation on a Mars mission. Said Sarkozy, "I am convinced that an exploration programme can only be global, without exclusivity or appropriation by one nation or another... Each will be able to take part with their capabilities, their strengths and their choices." Sarkozy pointed out that Europe boasted "skills in robotic exploration, transport and technology", while the US had the dollars and would bring "technical and scientific competences" to the project. Sarkozy said he would ask the ESA and European Union to "co-operate on a framework for dialogue with the US and other space powers on a joint initiative".