Coinciding with the celebration of the first 50 years of space collaboration between Italy and the United States, the two countries signed a framework agreement today in Washington on cooperation in the use of space for peaceful purposes. The agreement was signed by Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero and Director General for Scientific Affairs of the U.S. Department of State Kerri-Ann Jones, in the presence of Director General of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) Enrico Saggese and Deputy Director of NASA Lori Beth Garver. The agreement opens up new scientific, technological and economic opportunities by fostering cooperation between respective space agencies and streamlining procedures for implementing scientific projects.
“This accord is strategic for both our countries”, commented Minister for Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi, “and essential to the further reinforcement of bilateral relations in science and industry”.
Today’s event was another on the rich calendar of events taking place within the context of 2013 – The Year of Italian Culture in the United States (www.ITALYinUS2013.org), an initiative launched in December 2012 by Minister Terzi and which has the High Patronage of President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano and includes over 200 events in more than 50 American cities.
Italian astronaut to carry logo into space
During the ceremony Ambassador Bisogniero, along with astronaut and Italian embassy science attaché Roberto Vittori, presented a reproduction of the culture year logo to Major Luca Parmitano, the next Italian astronaut slated to go into space and who display it in the space station.
The event also offered an opportunity to illustrate the most recent achievements of the Italian Space Agency, its current activities and future plans. Participants included the representatives of various Italian companies, in Washington for the international communications satellite show Satellite 2013.