Two important collaboration agreements were signed in Rome, at the Aviator’s House, aimed at enhancing the knowledge and skills of the Air Force in the aerospace sector and in particular in human space flight, a sector in which the Armed Force, “in line with the programmatic lines of the Ministry of Defense, has the competence for operational management and experimentation in microgravity”. A new strategic area, “that of access to low earth orbits, which – underlines the Italian Air Force – is being looked at with increasing attention, also through human space flight, with a view to increasing the competence of Defense in the sector and increase the level of protection of national space infrastructures “. The agreements were signed by the Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force, Air Squad General Alberto Rosso, respectively with Professor Maria Chiara Carrozza, President of the National Research Council, and with engineer Massimo Claudio Comparini, CEO of Thales Alenia Space Italia. The agreements testify to the role of excellence acquired by Italy in the field of scientific research and industrial capabilities in the aerospace sector and are part of a wider framework of collaborations that the Armed Force is developing with the world of institutions, such as the recent agreement signed with the Emilia Romagna Region, industry and scientific research to mutually increase those skills deemed necessary in ‘field of human space exploration in the Commercial Spaceflight sector.
“Space is the natural dimension of our Armed Force, a fundamental resource for Italy that must be protected, valued, protected and defended “these are the first words of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Air Force General Alberto Rosso. Rosso added that” research and development, even commercial, space must be tackled together thanks to a virtuous collaboration between public and private. A synergy between institutions, a shared responsibility with the world of industry that allows us to fully exploit Italy’s skills. International collaboration, with the United States for example, between institutions and with the world of industry is the added value to allow the country to grow “. “These agreements in the space sector, which are added to the consolidated and fruitful collaboration with the Italian Space Agency, they represent an added value for the near future “he stressed again.
As part of the collaboration between the Italian Air Force and Thales Alenia Space Italia, a joint venture between Thales 67% and Leonardo 33%, the agreement aims to promote access to low earth orbit in favor of institutions, the national scientific community, industry and commercial operators, favoring the development of a research chain on strategic issues such as medicine, new materials, biogenetics, as well as supporting the possibilities of technological development and OT&E (Operational Testing & Evaluation) in microgravity. This approach will also make it possible to enhance national industrial skills in the space infrastructure sector, both for the development of new operational capabilities and for the increase of new scientific and technological skills. The Armed Force, “expanding the knowledge of the new training protocols in development in the context of the Commercial Spaceflight thanks to the Letter of Agreement signed with Axiom Space in 2019, intends to support these projects through specific professional skills that will be at the service of the national strategy of the sector “. “I am particularly honored to have signed this collaboration agreement with the Italian Air Force aimed at promoting access and commercial exploitation to low earth orbit “commented Massimo Claudio Comparini, managing director of Thales Alenia Space Italia.
The Air Force indicates that to this is added the agreement with the CNR which “strengthens an already established program of collaboration as part of the opportunities for experimentation in microgravity linked to the Commercial Spaceflight and to the new frontiers of exploration. In this context, the purpose of this agreement is to cooperate for the increase of the scientific and technological knowledge of the Public Administration, for the identification and development of research programs, for training and for other initiatives of common interest. , aimed at spreading the national ‘culture of research’ and ‘aerospace culture’. In particular, with reference to the theme of Commercial Spaceflight and human flight, scientific and technological topics and activities of joint interest will be identified, which will involve the academic and national research community “. “Experimentation in space, and in particular in microgravity, – said the president of the CNR, Maria Chiara Carrozza – offers experimental scenarios that cannot be carried out in ordinary gravity, since it allows to isolate processes otherwise masked by the effect of Earth’s gravity. It is therefore a frontier of great scientific interest. Among the sectors in which this activity finds application we remember the study of interstellar clouds of dust and ice and, in the field of environmental sciences, the understanding of atmospheric processes that play an essential role in the climate system, in the water cycle, in the formation of rainfall”.
On the same day, a collaboration between Thales Alenia Space Italia was also signed, as a world leader in the national industry in the field of space infrastructure, and the Axiom Space Company, an American company selected by NASA for the construction of the first space modules that will form the commercial segment of the International Space Station. An industrial collaboration that testifies to the liveliness and strategic value of the Commercial Spaceflight, as an opportunity to increase technological capabilities, to stimulate the In-Orbit economy and to consolidate traditional bilateral relations between the United States and Italy.