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50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing



50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

July 20, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing, a major event for humanity and the beginning of the space age, of which Italy has been and continues to be a protagonist.

"It is a matter of pride for Italy - said Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio - that 50 years after the Moon Landing an Italian astronaut, Luca Parmitano, has been given the prestigious role of commander of the International Space Station. Astronauts are envoys of humanity and Luca’s mission fully expresses the unique identity of Italy, made of culture, beauty, momentum towards the future, exploration and courage, technological innovation and international cooperation. The 'Beyond' mission also reflects the important Italian contribution to the progress made over the last 50 years in the space sector. Best wishes to Luca and to his companions.”

On September 12, 1962, US President John F. Kennedy announced to the world, in a historic speech to the US Congress, that the United States would send a man to the moon within a decade. Just five days earlier, the Vice President of the United States had announced the US-Italy bilateral agreement for the launch of the "San Marco" satellite. Since the beginning of the space age, Italy has indeed represented a significant partner for the United States and this collaboration has been further strengthened over the years.

Italy, in addition to being one of the main supporters of ESA's (European Space Agency) International Space Station, has also played a prestigious and recognized role within the international space community, in force of the bilateral agreements between ASI (Italian Space Agency) and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). The United States remain, with ESA, the international partner with which Italy has established unique and irreplaceable relations. It is no coincidence that the Italian Embassy in Washington D.C. relies on the cooperation of a Space Attaché, Gen. Roberto Vittori, who is one of three Italian astronauts on active duty.

In the space field, the contribution of the Italian industrial sector is very significant, for example, Italy has produced a significant percentage of the pressurized modules of the ISS.

Humanity is moving from low orbit operations on the International Space Station to a future of interplanetary exploration, projected towards a stable presence on the Moon by 2024 and, then, the goal of reaching Mars and beyond. Italy supports and will continue to fully support this effort.

Fifty years ago, lunar missions were a symbol of technological and operational superiority. Today, they open up unique research opportunities, also for the exploitation of the Moon’s immense resources and for the development of the space economy, which has very concrete applications in everyday life, from the development of new materials to applications in the medical field, from weather forecasts to advancing the efficiency of agricultural production, from communications to the management of natural disasters, to the opportunities offered by space tourism.

Today, on this anniversary, we celebrate the Moon and its glorious past, but also an even brighter future.