Italy against Luna. The agreement between ASI and NASA

As part of the Artemis program, the Italian space agency has signed an agreement with NASA on the design of the housing modules to accommodate the “next man and first woman” on the moon. The agreement was signed on the occasion of the visit to Rome by the head of the US Agency, Bill Nelson, together with the President of ASI, Saccoccia, and in the presence of Ministers Colao and Di Maio

Living on the Moon i made in Italy home. It sounds like science fiction, but it’s the core of what’s provided for in the agreement signed today in Rome by the Italian space agency and NASA on the occasion of the two – day visit to the capital of the US administrator. agency, Bill Nelson. The president of ASI signed the agreement on the Italian side, George Bag and the Minister of Technological Innovation responsible for space, Vittorio Colaoin the presence of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Luigi Of But I. The signing of the commitment took place on the sidelines of the 17th session of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Policies on Space and Space Research (Comint), which opened Nelson’s commitments in Italy.

The agreement for the lunar modules

The purpose of the agreement is the realization of a feasibility study dedicated to the design and development of new housing capacities related to the future lunar modules, the “houses”, which will welcome the astronauts who will reach the surface of the natural satellite, the so-called Lunar surface multi-purpose habitation module (Mph), proposed by the Italian Agency as part of the Artemis program. In fact, ASI will conduct the study on these modules, accompanied by cooperation and support from the Italian industry. The plan allows for the development of a project that meets the objectives of the Artemis mission and the requirements set by NASA. On the US side, the stars and stripes agency will support the Italian commitment by providing up-to-date technical and programmatic information about the program.

Italy and the Artemis program

Italy is among the first signatories to the Artemis agreements in October 2020, it will be on board the company since the first mission, scheduled for August, which will see the Space Launch System spacecraft and Orion capsule pass around the Moon, unmanned. The program, with which NASA aims to bring the next man and the first woman to the moon, will lay the foundation for a long-term presence on the satellite’s surface, where it will also validate the living systems in deep space, indispensable for future missions to Mars. In the future, our country will also, through ESA, participate in the construction of the I-Hab housing module for Lunar Gateway, a project led by Thales Alenia Space (a joint venture between the French company Thales at 67% and Leonardo at 33%). The company, again through ESA, is also involved in the project. to develop a system for producing oxygen directly on the Moon using electrolysis of molten salt to extract oxygen from the “regolith” (moon rock) to sustain future lunar colonies.

Space diplomacy

The signing of the agreement is just the latest event in an intense space diplomacy campaign carried out by Italy. The NASA administrator’s arrival in Rome follows a similar meeting with him in Washington, again with Colao and Saccoccia, who on that occasion had also met. Chirag Parikh, Executive Secretary of the National Space Council, the White House body dealing with space policy, chaired by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. Minister Coalo also recently signed a memorandum of understanding in Palazzo Chigi between the Italian government and the Texan company Axiom Space, represented by its president and CEO. Michael Suffredini. The agreement focused on the consolidation of bilateral industrial relations between Italy and the United States, opening a new chapter on the human presence around the Earth and on the Moon. Axiom Space is building in collaboration with NASA a new commercial space station, which makes use of important contributions from the Italian industrial sector and the air force, with the colonel and the cosmonaut, Walter Villadeiwho will participate in upcoming Axiom missions.

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