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ASI, Alenia Spazio At Int'l Space Symposium (Oct. 23)

The Italian Space Agency (ASI) and Alenia Spazio, a Finmeccanica company, will take part in the International Space Symposium being held at the Reagan International Trade Center in Washington from 24th to 26th October.

Their exhibition space will present Italy's role in the construction of the International Space Station (ISS), in remote sensing and in planetary exploration.

ASI and Alenia Spazio will illustrate the advantages deriving from the use of satellite technologies in Earth observation.

One of the fruits of these technologies is the COSMO SkyMed programme, a constellation of seven satellites in low Earth orbit carrying high-resolution radar and optical instruments for the constant monitoring of land and buildings, the analysis and verification of agricultural crops, the drawing up of high-resolution geographical maps, the surveillance of coasts and the observation of natural disasters.

Launch of the first satellite is slated for 2002 and the entire constellation will be complete in 2004 covering the whole Mediterranean area but with the possibility to be extended worldwide.

Again in remote sensing, for the SRTM mission (NASA, ASI, DLR), to create a three-dimensional map of the terrestrial globe, Alenia Spazio has supplied the synthetic aperture radars installed on the Shuttle and the real-time data processor, able to carry out over eight billion operations a second, located at the JPL in Los Angeles.

From observing the Earth to living in space: the contribution of ASI and Alenia Spazio to the construction of the ISS is of the highest technological standard.

The Italian company is building over 50% of the pressurised, and therefore inhabitable, volume.

Key elements in this participation are the MPLM logistics modules, Raffaello, Donatello and Leonardo, used to transport scientific payloads, supplies and materials between the Earth and the Station.

The modules will have two main functions: as vehicles where they must be able to fly repeatedly ­ around 25 flights in 10 years ­ and as manned modules where they must operate in orbit guaranteeing protection from meteorites, environmental and thermal control, air conditioning, electrical power distribution and other vital functions.


ASI and Alenia Spazio at the International Space Symposium