WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C., hosted the “Italian National Space Day” on Thursday 15 December. The celebration was launched in 2020 by the Italian government, to commemorate the launch in 1964 of the San Marco I satellite program, which made Italy the third country in the world with a presence in space, after the United States and the Soviet Union. The event, organized in collaboration with ICE, Asi (Italian Space Agency) U.S. Space Foundation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and George Washington University, saw the participation of the main Italian and US leaders in the space sector.
“It’s a special day for us. We want to underline the Italian expertise, experience and vision in a rapidly growing sector and draw attention to the main economic, commercial and social benefits that space can offer, both nationally and internationally,” said the ambassador of Italy to the United States, Mariangela Zappia, in her address. The ambassador also recalled that Italy was “the first major European country to sign a bilateral agreement with NASA, and the first to join the Artemis agreements.”
“Italy has a long history in science, exploration and space,” said Chirag Parikh, Deputy Assistant to the President and Executive Secretary of the National Space Council, in his remarks, underlining that for the United States “Italy continues to be an indispensable partner in space cooperation in the civil, security and commercial sectors.”
“Italy and the United States have a very rich history of collaboration. A key example is the Italian involvement in the International Space Station. It can probably be said that there would be no International Space Station without Italian participation. Research and leadership they displayed was incredible in every aspect of the technology that we’ve been able to observe on Earth, especially here in the United States,” said Kelli Kedis Ogborn, VP of Space Commerce and Entrepreneurship at the Space Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 1983, to offer information, educational programs, and collaborations in space exploration and the space-to-Earth industry that characterize the global space ecosystem.
The Italian National Space Day was attended by representatives of many American companies, including Blue Origin, SpaceX, Axiom Space, AWS, Sierra Space, Boeing, Virgin Orbit, L3 Harris, Virgin Galactic, Firefly, NASA and Rocketjet Aerodyne. The Italian aerospace industry and institutions were represented by Leonardo and its subsidiaries, Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space, Avio, Argotec, Altec, RME, D-Orbit, T4i, Breton, Picosats, Space Factory, Astra Space, BluElectronic, AEREA , CEI Piedmont (Agency for Investment, Tourism and Export), Emilia-Romagna (Art-ER Attractiveness Research Territory Emilia-Romagna), CIRA (Italian Aerospace Research Center), Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and Intesa SanPaolo.
“For Italy, the United States is one of the main partners and we are very interested in their market and I know that the United States is also looking at us, because we have a historical capacity in space. I think that in the future we will be able to collaborate, with great opportunities in the commercial market, which is a rapidly growing market for us, and the United States is a target for us,” said Cristina Sgubin, Secretary General and General Counsel of Telespazio-Leonardo.
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