BORDEAUX—Nearly 200 years after the French Revolution, this city may face another upheaval. More than 2,000 scientists, engineers and technicians at the core of France's military aerospace effort cast off their normal shyness about self-promotion and turned out in force for the Techno-Espace exhibit and conference held here in early December. This first-ever exposition was intended to offset the dominant position of the civil aerospace industry in the ToulouseMontpellier region to the south. The meeting was inspired in large part by former Prime Minister Jacques Chaban-Delmas, mayor of the city and a member of Parliament. Many of the region's R&D laboratories and assembly points in the region are engaged in a 20-year program to develop the fourth and fifth generation of Ariane rackets. The scientists are working under the aegis of Aerospatiale as main contractor for the Arianespace booster missions (the 19th launching of which is to take place in...

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