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European Space Agency: Director of Launchers Antonio Fabrizi dies

Antonio Fabrizi, Director of Launchers at the European Space Agency (ESA) passed away in Rome on Saturday 16 May after a long illness. At this post since 2003, he played a crucial role in the development of ESA’s “Vega” launcher and improvement of the “Ariana 5”. After completing his studies at Rome’s La Sapienza University, Fabrizi took his first job at BDP, where he held various positions until 1989, including responsibility for the Ariane launcher booster feasibility studies.

In the 1990s he was appointed Commercial Manager of FIAT Spazio for the development of new initiatives, and in 1993 went back to BDP as head of the Space Transport Systems unit. He took on the same position for the Space Business Unit of FiatAvio, taking responsibility for the Cyclone and Vega projects as well. In 2000 he was made Vice President of the Space Business Unit of FiatAvio and responsible for all space-related activities. He was appointed Director of Launchers at ESA in 2003, a post which he left on March 1st 2014 upon his own request, continuing however to lend his precious support to preparations for ESA’s new Ariane 6 launcher.

Antonio Fabrizi gave much to Italy, to science and to the noble cause of international collaboration

“Antonio Fabrizi gave much to Italy, to science and to the noble cause of international collaboration and shared values – commented representative of the Italian Permanent Mission to OECD, ambassador Gabriele Checchia.

“ESA and the European space sector lose an outstanding professional in launchers development and exploitation,” added ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain. “I lose a very close friend who has been available and present at all times during our 12 years in common at ESA. Antonio is an example of knowledge, loyalty, courtesy and courage for all of us and for me in particular. He has conquered success. My thoughts, as well as those of all ESA staff and contractors who have known Antonio, go to his wife Laura and his two daughters, hoping that our attachment to Antonio will help them in this devastating moment.”

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