Space, Italy inaugurates National Day and launches a mega European project

Colao’s announcement today at the ASI celebrations: “It will be a constellation for Earth Observation, tight times. ESA will be the orchestrator”. In the Pnrr fund of 1.3 billion for the entire sector.

Italy inaugurates the first National Space Day, kicking off what it promises to be the largest Italian and European space project for Earth Observation. A constellation made in Italy which will be financed directly with the NRP, a 1.3 billion euro fund divided with the new Vega program. The announcement came from the minister of technological innovation and digital transition with responsibility for space, Vittorio Colao, during the celebration at ASI.

The constellation – there is not yet a definite name but it could also be identified by Italian school children – “due to its size it is currently the largest project conceived in Europe ” Colao noted that today he signed an agreement with the CEO of Esa, Josef Aschbacher, at the ASI headquarters.

“If we hurry” to create the constellation, a project that in any case “has a tight schedule”, we will also have “a leadership and a pre-eminent position in its development and in this sector and with the PNRR it will become a major European project and certainly Italian because it is financed with the National Recovery and Resilience Plan “, it will become” an Italian pillar of Earth Observation “noted Colao, who chairs the Comint, the Interministerial Committee for Space Policies which has recently decided to entrust the funds directly to ESA.

Right in Italy, in Frascati, the European Space Agency has its Esrin center for Earth Observation which from next January will be led by the Italian Simonetta Cheli, who took over from Aschbacher after being appointed to the ESA top management. In short, there is already a European ‘beating heart’ in our country for Observing the Earth from space, which could also be the focus of “ESA’s commitment to base most of its resources in Italy”.

Colao explained that “the constellation will have governmental purposes and will also be used to support the Civil Protection, to implement measures against hydrogeological instability, to protect the coasts and to fight fires, but it will also have commercial applications that will have to be developed by the industries of the sector “, by the private market.

“I believe that the collaboration with ESA is strategic” because “these projects must be wide-ranging. International collaboration is important “, Colao pointed out, stressing that” Esa will be the orchestrator and Asi will make a great contribution in terms of people “, of human resources. The minister noted, however, that with this project a new path will also open for the national space industry, it will allow “in Italy to make skills grow.” And to have “a high-tech industry” is the vision outlined by Colao.