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Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)
  AGENZIA SPAZIALE ITALIANA

The Italian Space Agency (ASI) is a government agency, created in 1988, having the responsibility:

  • to promote, coordinate and manage national programs and bilateral and multilateral cooperation programs;
  • to promote and support Italian scientific and industrial participation in the European Space Agency (ESA) programs, in harmonisation with national programs.

Budget

The Italian civil space mean budget is around 650 Meuro, shared between ESA and national activities (50% each).

Space Debris Activities

In Italy, in addition to ASI, space debris activities are carried out by the National Research Council (CNR), the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), universities and the aerospace industry. The main fields covered are:

  • re-entry predictions of potentially risky space objects for the national civil protection authorities;
  • short and long term debris environment modelling;
  • protection of space structures and habitable modules;
  • hypervelocity impact tests and modelling;
  • on-orbit impact risk assessment;
  • radar observations of meteoroids entering in the atmosphere;
  • orbital debris and meteoroids detectors in space;
  • ground based optical and radar techniques for debris detection.
  • conjunction assessment and collision avoidance for the satellites of the COSMO-SkyMed constellation, in sun-synchronous orbit;
  • implementation of mitigation measures;
  • elaboration of mitigation guidelines and standards.

Since 2007 ASI is co-funding and coordinating a multi-year national Space Debris Project, addressing most of the above listed topics. In the framework of this project, a dedicated optical observation facility (SPADE) was developed and became operational in Central Italy and a series of debris detection tests was carried out with a bi-static radar configuration, involving the Ukrainian Evpatoria radio-telescope (transmitter) and the Medicina radio-telescope (receiver), near Bologna.

ASI is active in the evaluation and implementation of mitigation practices. At national level, it promoted coordination in the field with other public administrations and private operators. At international level, ASI was involved in the preparation of the IADC Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines and the European Code of Conduct for Space Debris Mitigation. Moreover, ASI is involved in the ESA's Space Situational Awareness Program and provides technical support to the Italian delegations at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS).