February 5, 2023

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ASI in the middle of the second National Space Day

The second edition of National Space Day has ended. An initiative that has placed orbits at the center with the aim of educating Italian citizens about the contributions made by science and technology to the improvement of human life on Earth. We followed the Italian Space Agency in this marathon. All the details…

The second edition of National Space Day has ended. A space marathon focusing on orbits and their endless opportunities and possibilities. Italy, also with regard to its ecosystem – made up of industry giants and innovative SMEs – is investing its entire supply chain intensively in this sector, as also evidenced by the recent increase in investments at the last ministerial meeting of the European Space Agency (ESA). The Italian Space Agency (ASI) could not fail to be the great protagonist of this day which saw its participation in many initiatives throughout the national territory, with the events held in the capital at the centre. This anniversary helped draw attention to a space that is more accessible to citizens, to also inspire young people and new generations who will be able to continue to support scientific research in this growing sector. It is, in fact, a very important economic engine, capable of having positive effects on many other sectors, and it is no coincidence that Pnrr will also make a significant contribution to this sector.

Space law

The first meeting of the day took place in Montectorio. It was the “Italian Law of Space” event, organized by the Leonardo Foundation, which, among other things, saw the presence of the President of ASI, George Saccociadefense minister, Guido CrocitoItaly’s Minister of Enterprise and Industry responsible for space and aeronautical policies, Adolfo Orso. It happened “to look at the need for legislation related to space activities. We already have one – perhaps one that could be improved – related to governance, but the more important our work in this sector is, the greater the need for regulation,” Saccoccia explained. “Space today means both institutions and individuals, and it means Consider the use of additional planetary resources, in-orbit maintenance activities, logistics, etc. And it is clear that it is no longer possible to do it only on a personal initiative, but it is good that we have a regulatory framework and it is right that Italy takes an interest in it, ”concluded the President, commenting on the initiative.

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Space exploration at its core

Immediately after leaving the House of Representatives, he hosted the ASI President during the closing ceremony show “Exploring the Moon to Mars”, sponsored by the capital, Rome. An exhibition designed to tell the audience the story of the future exploration and colonization of Mars starting from the Moon and from the outposts that will be established on the surface and in lunar orbit. And with him also the astronaut Issa, Samantha CristoforettiDeputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Edmund Cirelli Ready to talk about exploration. “This year has been very important for space in general and for European space,” said the astronaut. As far as the Moon is concerned, the goal is to continue to participate in the activities already underway, and to continue to support the Artemis programme, but not only. According to Cristoforetti “We will continue to produce the European Service Modules (ESM), so the Orion service module we saw operational for the first time just a few days ago” In parallel, our industry is the prime contractor for our contribution to the Lunar Gateway, which continues to progress quickly in anticipation of its launch in a few years, to be the first suitable habitable module for this space station in orbit around the Moon.” If we then want to look further, towards Mars, “there is still no concrete and funded program for sending humans, but there is An important robotic exploration program.” Fortunately, the difficulties of the ExoMars mission due to the geopolitical context and the war in Ukraine saw a new plan in Europe to “save” the mission so that it could complete it, also thanks to the contribution of NASA.

The role of small and medium enterprises in the space

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Small and medium enterprises play an important role in spreading the space culture and in creating networks, as evidenced by the space technology parks distributed throughout the peninsula. SMEs were the protagonists of the “Space Economy AbreTalk” event organized by the Aerospace Business Association (AIBAS). Under the initiative, together with President Saccoccia, several guests including the CEO of Airbus Italia, Milena LerarioDirector of Bocconi’s SEE Lab, Simonetta Debepo and astronaut Franco Mallerpa. It was Lerario himself who gave us an idea of ​​\u200b\u200bthe potential of the space economy: “Since 2021, more than 370 billion dollars have been invested in this sector and they want to become a trillion dollars in 2040.” In this context, small and medium-sized companies, whose essential role in the space sector was emphasized at the ESA ministerial meeting in Paris, do not wait to participate and give voice to their skills. “Until a few years ago, when we were talking about the contribution of SMEs, it was difficult to go beyond the components… But today it is different, we have many SMEs and start-ups. With the main contractor of PMI for missions, for example, the ASI president explained In the small satellite sector, it is no coincidence that the only European satellite carried on board Artemis 1 was Italian and developed in Italy.

next steps

It is still difficult to organize everything that Italy expects in the space next year, but as Cirelli emphasized: “We will give more support from the government to ASI and to the excellence that Italy expresses in this sector, as well as in human resources. The new government will focus strongly on both ASI and on international cooperation, with the European Space Agency and beyond.” But what will be the priorities? “We are investing extraordinary resources in this sector that will focus on key sectors,” said Saccoccia, who said that in 2023 there is a lot to be done again. Such as observing the Earth, accessing space and above all ‘exploration’. In this context, the President explained that “the industry will have an infinite number of opportunities,” in light of the increase in resources allocated to the sector, and on the agenda “the contracting associated with Pnrr must be completed by March.” And who knows if there will be news in the field of space infrastructures in Europe. “There is such an important effort in Europe that I am particularly interested in seriously asking ourselves again a few decades later whether it is not the case that we, like the Americans, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Indians, will soon be able to independently launch humans into space and return them safely to Earth not because we want to do so.” things on our own but because in international cooperation it is of course another thing when we cooperate a little more as equals,” noted AstroSamantha.

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Space Day

The National Space Day was scheduled several years ago at ASI headquarters and was established under the guidance of the then Prime Minister, Mario DraghiOn October 14, 2021, at the suggestion of the previous minister Victor Colao. This anniversary aims to raise awareness and inform Italian citizens of the contributions that science and technology applied in space make to the improvement of the human condition and the practical return of space activities. The date December 16 was chosen in memory of the launch of the first Italian satellite, San Marco 1, which took place on the evening of December 15, 1964 from the famous NASA base on Wallops Island, USA. The launch of the satellite allowed Italy to enter, which is the third in the world after the United States and the Soviet Union, in a small group of countries capable of conquering the Earth’s atmosphere. Among the goals of the celebration of the National Day is to make Italian citizens understand the benefits that come from space activities in daily life, and also in terms of growth, well-being, image and role on a global level for our village.