PM Sharon Meets NASA Administrator Dan Goldin
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Science, Culture and Sports Minister Matan Vilnai met on Monday, August 13, 2001, with US NASA Administrator Dan Goldin and his delegation, and US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer.
Mr. Goldin and his delegation are visiting Israel as guests of the government in order to promote and enhance wide-ranging cooperation between NASA and its Israeli counterpart. It was agreed that NASA and Israel would indeed continue to cooperate on space research, including the launch of Israeli satellites at no cost on the various space shuttles. It was also agreed that Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon would be launched into space on May 23, 2002. Prime Minister Sharon and Science, Culture and Sports Minister Vilnai will propose that the Cabinet approve a proposal to declare 2002 as the Israeli space year on the occasion of Ramon’s launch into space.
Prime Minister Sharon responded favorably to Mr. Goldin’s request regarding the development of extensive educational and scientific projects for high school students in the field of space research.
Prime Minister Sharon said that he would make an effort to mobilize the necessary resources to institutionalize Israeli-NASA cooperation while utilizing Israel’s human potential to promote useful research into global climatic change, as well as water and earthquake research.
In light of the expected agreement between NASA and Israel, Mr. Goldin emphasized the possibilities of Israel’s integration into the European space center and Israel’s joining the exclusive club of countries participating in the international space station, including involvement of Israeli research and researchers in the station.
Prime Minister Sharon responded that he views Israel’s integration in NASA’s research and development plans as critically important and added that this would constitute a considerable leap forward in utilizing Israel’s scientific and technological potential, including the creation of a major source of exports in the future.
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