On anniversary of Gagarin flight Annan says space exploration should benefit all

In a message, Mr. Annan said, “outer space was once seen as a potential source of conflicts. But happily, it has become a source of cooperation. Many scientific achievements in outer space were possible because scientists from different countries worked together. ” Stressing that the benefits of space exploration should not be the “privilege of a limited few,” Mr. Annan said that advances in space science and technology could help developing countries deal with a range of issues — from natural disasters to modern communications. “Space science and technology have a great potential for enriching the lives of people around the world,” Mr. Annan said. Earth observation satellites could provide essential data to give early warnings for extreme weather phenomena, he noted, and satellite communications could help close the “digital divide.” “We must all work to ensure that the possibilities offered by technology, both in outer space and here on earth, are used to foster tolerance, trust and shared values,” he said. “They must not be allowed to become instruments of discord or division.” read more