Italian Space Agency (ASI)
The Italian Space Agency was founded in 1988. Its purpose was to coordinate all of Italy's efforts and investments in the space sector that had begun in the 1960s. Within over twenty years, ASI became one of the most significant players in the world in space science, satellite technologies and the development of mobile systems for exploring the universe. Today, ASI has a key role at a European level, where Italy is the third contributor country to the European Space Agency. It is also involved at an international level. For example, ASI has a close working relationship with NASA, which has led to its participation in many of the most interesting scientific missions in recent years. One of the most fascinating projects has been the construction and activities of the International Space Station, where Italian astronauts are now at home.
Thanks to ASI's efforts, the Italian scientific community has had unprecedented successes in astrophysics and cosmology (e.g. for the discovery of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) in recent years.
In addition to providing the means to study the universe, from space you can observe Earth to predict and prevent environmental disasters, ensure rapid intervention in crisis-stricken areas and measure the effects of climate change (e.g. COSMO-SkyMed).
Through the work of ASI and the Italian industry, Italy is pursuing a tradition in the field of space propulsion research. In particular, ASI plays a leading role in the VEGA European programme, the small rocket fully designed in Italy.
Nowadays, however, space is no longer an unusual sector for research. It is also an important economic opportunity. The telecommunications and satellite navigation market ¬ to mention just one application sector ¬ is expanding continuously. ASI, with its experience in building and placing satellites into orbit, operates in such a way that Italy will be ready to seize these opportunities.
Now more than ever, from essential questions on understanding the universe and the origin of life to experimenting with new technologies, space is where humans can broaden their horizons, increase their knowledge and ensure a better future on Earth. Because of ASI's efforts, Italy is playing a major role in this exemplary human enterprise.