VIENNA, june 12 – At the COPUOS opening in Vienna today, the Italian permanent Representative to the International Organizations Maria Assunta Accili said that ”Italy’s space activities are well established. Since its creation, in 1988, the Italian Space Agency has established itself as a relevant player worldwide in the field of space science and technology. Italy is a founding member of UN COPUOS (Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space) and of the European Space Agency, of which it is the 3rd largest contributor. Our space industry is dynamic and competitive, and it features a complete supply chain of products and services, covering the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors”.
”Today – said Accili – as new and exciting opportunities open up, the Italian Government is committed to further enabling space activities, within a governance framework that encourages safety and innovation…. Last 25 March the Italian Prime Minister issued the Government guidelines on space and aerospace. Among the priorities identified in these guidelines are the telecommunications, earth observation and navigation, the study of the universe, access to space, robotic and human space exploration, sub-orbital flight and stratospheric platforms, in-orbit servicing. Based on these guidelines, the Italian Space Agency is now developing the ”Domestic Space Policy Strategic Document’‘.
Besides these developments at the institutional level, ”2019 is certainly a significant year for Italy’s contribution to space science and exploration”. Accili underlined that last March, the Italian Space Agency’s mission PRISMA has been on orbit, equipped with one of the most powerful operative hyperspectral instrument in the world. ”The mission is expected to provide an unprecedented contribution to the observation of natural resources from space and to the study of main environmental processes.
The next actions
Accili said that ”last 30th of May, the ExoMars 2020 Rover Operations Control Center was inaugurated in Turin, Italy, on the premises of ALTEC, an engineering and logistics services joint venture between Thales Alenia Space and the Italian Space Agency. Starting in 2021, the Center will control and monitor the operations of the European Rover which will travel across the Martian surface to search for signs of life, as part of the ExoMars 2020, a mission conducted by ESA in conjunction with the Russian space agency Roscosmos”.
The 20th of July – a day which marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing – the Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano will be launched, together with a Russian and a US colleagues, to the International Space Station for his second time. During his mission, called Beyond, Luca Parmitano will work on a number of scientific experiments, including seven developed by Italy. Mr. Parmitano will also take up the role of International Space Station Commander.
Next October Italy will launch the first of the two satellites of the Second-Generation of COSMO-SkyMed, which will feature state-of-the-art technologies and engineering solutions, in particular their synthetic aperture radars, capable of observations under any weather or light conditions, day or night. The second generation will build on the success of the four existing satellites, which have proven invaluable in monitoring the environment and contributing to the management of natural disasters and anthropogenic risks.
”Italy’s space industry is extremely dynamic also when it comes to SMEs and start-ups, as shown with ArgoMoon, a project developed by the Italian engineering company Argotec and coordinated by the Italian Space Agency – said the ambassador – Argomoon is a nanosatellite which will be representing Europe in NASA’s Orion Exploration Mission-1 maiden flight. ArgoMoon will take several historically significant pictures of the EM-1 mission and will test some innovative communication systems. The Italian Space Agency will make a presentation of ArgoMoon next Monday. In order for space technology and applications to continue fostering sustainable development on earth, Italy emphasizes the value of the preamble and the 21 guidelines on which consensus was reached in the Working Group on Long-Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities and we encourage initiatives aimed at promoting their implementation and the exchange of information on best practices at the national level. The Italian delegation also stands ready to engage constructively in the discussions which will take place during this session on the various proposals on how to continue the work of COPUOS in this field.