Italian Space Agency (ASI)
Member since: 1989
The Italian Space Agency, created in 1988, coordinates the Italian efforts in space. The ASI range of activities goes from space science to earth observation, telecommunications, navigation and launchers development.
Italy is the third country in terms of contribution in the European Space Agency and participates in the EU program as Galileo and GMES. ASI has a long tradition experience in space scientific missions at ESA level and in cooperation with NASA. Indeed, ASI has significantly contributed to space exploration embarking many scientific payloads aboard NASA and ESA satellites for discovering the secrets of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus and for the study of cosmology. Other scientific payloads have been carried out for the astrophysical study of high energy and black matter as AMS on board the ISS. Italy is the first European country in terms of investment involved in the ISS through ESA participation and with a NASA agreement.
In 20 years five Italian astronauts flew with Italian and ESA flag. Two new astronauts will fly in 2013 (Luca Parmitano) and 2014 (Samantha Cristoforetti). ASI developed the first four COSMO-SkyMed satellites of a space radar system for Earth Observation, able to collect 1800 data per day and to ensure rapid intervention in crisis-stricken areas and measure the effects of climate change. ASI is deeply engaged in international bilateral cooperation with many partners in the five continents. At multilateral governmental level Italy is member of the UNCOPUOS and GEO. ASI is member of CEOS, IADC, ICG, ESPI, EURISY and IAF.
In 2012 Italy will host the 63rd International Astronautical Congress in Naples, 1-5 October 2012 and the ESA Ministerial Conference in Naples, 19-21 November 2012.