For thirty years, space policy has been suffering from an economic logic based on short-term gain, and from lack of understanding by a hostile public opinion which considers it too expensive, unnecessary, fanciful and emblematic of a spirit of unlimited conquest. Faced with this regressive vision of a finite world, we need to revive what is proper to man: the deep desire to constantly push the limits of the known, the enthusiasm to discover new principles of the universe and use it to drive the long-term economy and improve the world for generations to come.That's the summary; the full policy can be found here. (Apparently the printed version of his full electoral platform runs to 368 pages.) As my father once said, "One can learn something of the tendencies in a society by observing on which particular fringe of it the lunatics break out."
A major space program is impossible in the current economic and cultural system, which is why we must change the system.
- Demand that the budget of the European Space Agency (ESA) be immediately tripled, and staff a large worldwide space program with a budget of $500 billion, of which $150 billion for Europe and $40 billion for France. Space should not be a military issue but the horizon of a common humanity able to renounce war.
- Launch a major scientific and cultural education project, and introduce modules on space and astronomy in our schools, in collaboration with countries elsewhere in Europe and the rest of the world taking similar initiatives.
- Install a more effective space warning system, against the intrusion of asteroids or comets in Earth's atmosphere.
- Initiate programs to build third-generation space transports, and the industrialization of the Moon, which is a future platform for Mars and the rest of the Solar System.
- Using programs already developed in electronics, computers, hybrid flight control systems, new refractory materials, thermal protection in general and mechanical and aerothermal constraints to go first to the moon, and from there to Mars.
- To shorten future trips between Earth and Mars and beyond, develop nuclear propulsion (propulsion by a miniaturized controlled thermonuclear fusion device).
Cheminade is now considering whether to give his supporters guidance on whether to support Sarkozy or Hollande in the second round on 6 May. France is waiting with bated breath.