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ITALY-USA – Space Cooperation Agreement

Italy and the United States have signed an important framework agreement to promote and develop collaboration in the space sector. The agreement will open up new opportunities in the economic, scientific and technological fields. Its signing coincides with the celebrations for the first 50 years of Italian-American collaboration in the field. The agreement was signed by the Italian Ambassador to the United States, Claudio Bisogniero, and, for the Americans, Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International, Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the Department of State. Also present were the President of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Enrico Saggese, and NASA’s Deputy Administrator, Lori Beth Garver.


A milestone in the Year of Italian Culture in the USA



The signing ceremony takes place during an event organized by the Embassy of Italy in Washington as a moment of reflection on the achievements already attained by the two countries working together and on their future projects in space. It is also a milestone event in 2013: Year of Italian Culture in the USA. The initiative, inaugurated last December under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, presents over 200 events in more than 50 U.S. cities and places special attention on science, technology, and innovation. In witness of this, a cloth reproduction of the Year’s logo will be presented by Ambassador Bisogniero and astronaut Roberto Vittori to be later taken on board the international space station by his young Italian colleague, astronaut Luca Parmitano.


The framework agreement arises from the necessity to encourage, facilitate, and simplify the procedures for cooperation between Italian and U.S. space agencies (ASI and NASA), as well as with the other agencies listed in the agreement, the National Ocean Observation Administration (NOAA) and the US Geological Survey (USGS).


Italian satellite communications companies attend the event


“The Agreement”, affirmed Ambassador Bisogniero, “is of historic scope and strategic value. At the beginning of an era in which the role of the private sector will have increasing importance in the human and robotic exploration of space, Italy and the United States, building on the long and consolidated partnership in the space sector, now have an instrument to improve cooperation and offer new opportunities for our industries as well. I cannot imagine a better way to further consolidate the already strong presence of our culture, our scientific research, and our technology in the United States.”


The event is also an opportunity to illustrate the most recent achievements of the Italian Space Agency, its activities and its future programs. In fact, a number of Italian companies that are participating in the international expo on communications satellites, Satellite 2013, are also be attending this event dedicated to space.


ASI: Agreement confirms Italian leadership in the sector


As noted by Enrico Saggese, President of the Italian Space Agency, “the Agreement is signed under the hallmark of continuity and confirms the role of Italy as a protagonist in the aerospace sector. It is highly gratifying,” he went on to say, “that in these past decades ‘System Italy’ as a whole has stood out for its talent, competence, know-how, and professionalism by creating satellite products and services that are unique in the world.


This new agreement facilitates the strong cooperation and strengthens the historic relations between Italy and the USA. One of the most evident examples of this relationship is the trust NASA puts in Italy and in the Italian Center for Aerospace Research (CIRA). Indeed, U.S. technicians will come to CIRA to test their space components in the Plasma Wind Tunnel (PWT), the most powerful in the world, to conduct tests on the thermodynamic conditions of re-entry from space.”

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