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First U.S.-Based “Italian National Space Day” at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C.

The Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Space Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and George Washington University, will welcome space industry leaders to celebrate Italy’s “National Space Day” on Thursday, December 15th.

“Italy is a trusted, key partner of the US on space”, noted the Ambassador of Italy to the U.S., Mariangela Zappia, highlighting that “Italy is the first major European nation to have signed a bilateral agreement with NASA and is the first EU country that decided to participate in the Artemis Accords”. “An historic cooperation on the International Space Station and in many exploration and research projects, in low orbit and beyond, prove the value of Italian technological solutions, manufacturing and expertise”, she added.

As one of the strongest space sector pioneers, with a specific sectoral GDP of over 13 Billion Dollars in 2021, Italy is a key member of the European Space Agency, has trained several Italian Astronauts, is moving forward with the construction of Western Europe’s first-of-its-kind spaceport in Apulia and is at the forefront of innovation. Italy holds an exclusive status as one of the only countries with full space supply chain.

Tom Zelibor, CEO of Space Foundation, remarked, “There are no limits to the reach and opportunity of today’s global space economy. The Italian space community has already shown itself to be a forward-leaning leader in technology development and enterprise creation. Theirs is a story that deserves more recognition, especially with the doors it is opening.”

The Embassy of Italy (3000 Whitehaven St NW, Washington, DC 20008) will open its doors to the U.S. Space community on December 15.

From 9:30am to 1:00 pm, U.S. attendees including so far Blue Origin, SpaceX, Axiom Space, AWS, Sierra Space, Boeing, Virgin Orbit, L3 Harris, Virgin Galactic, Firefly, NASA and Rocketjet Aerodyne, will hold B2B meetings with many industry-leading Italian players. Italian space leading companies, tech clusters, research centers, financial institutions exhibiting a booth or attending the event include:

Leonardo and its subsidiaries, Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space, Avio, Argotec, Altec, RME, D-Orbit, T4i, Breton, Picosats, Space Factory, Astra Space, BluElectronic, AEREA, CEI Piemonte (Agency for Investment, Tourism and Export), Emilia-Romagna (Art-ER Attractiveness Research Territory Emilia-Romagna), CIRA (Italian Aerospace Research Center), Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Intesa SanPaolo.

In parallel, at 8:45am, the Embassy will host Blue Origin Club for The Future and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano (virtually) for an event dedicated to Italian and American school students. The event will showcase selected postcards, written and designed by the students, that will be launched to space and back on the Blue Origin rocket “New Shepard” and then returned to each student stamped “Flown to Space”. Ambassador Zappia and Parmitano will share the stage with representatives of Blue Origin Club for the Future.

At 2:00 pm, the Embassy will host a workshop on US Space opportunities for Italian Companies highlighting US and Italian investments, venture capital and industrial cooperation in the space sector. Kevin O’Connell, Founder and CEO of Space Economy Rising will deliver a keynote address. Two panels will follow, moderated by Kelli Kedis Ogborn, VP of Space Commerce and Entrepreneurship of Space Foundation. See the workshop agenda attached.

The Italian National Space Day will end with a reception. Ambassador Mariangela Zappia and Chirag Parikh, Deputy Assistant to the President and Executive Secretary of the National Space Council will deliver remarks at 5:30 PM.

Throughout the whole day, the Embassy will host “Looking beyond”, a satellite imagery exhibition promoted by the Italian MFA together with the Italian Space Agency and Telespazio/e-GEOS and curated by Filippo Maggia. Through a series of images acquired by the Italian COSMO-SkyMed satellite constellation owned by the Italian Space Agency and the Italian Ministry of Defence, the project offers an opportunity to think about the contribution of satellite technologies to Earth observation, the promotion of sustainable development and the protection of the natural and cultural heritage.

Members of the press are welcomed to attend from 2:00 PM onward, as well as the Blue Origin Club for the Future event at 8:45 AM.

Media interested in covering the event (or single sessions) and/or to request interviews are kindly requested to email: and If interested only in the Blue Origin Club for the Future event, please email:

About Italy’s National Space Day

Italy’s “National Space Day” was first inaugurated by the Italian government in 2020 as an occasion to raise awareness on the Italian contributions to global space. The annual celebration repeats every December 16th – marking the launch date of Italy’s San Marco I Satellite Program, solidifying Italy’s position as the third nation, after the U.S. and the Soviet Union, to achieve a physical presence in space.

About Space Foundation

Space Foundation is a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983, offering a gateway to information, education and collaboration for space exploration and space-to-Earth industries that define the global space ecosystem. Driven by a partnership model, Space Foundation operates three divisions that unite the entire spectrum of stakeholders — business, government, education and local communities — through corporate membership, sponsorship, fundraising and grants. Symposium 365 is the premier source for media and events, including the world-renowned Space Symposium and The Space Report. Center for Innovation and Education is a lifelong learning provider. Global Alliance facilitates collaboration around the world. Visit Space Foundation at, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.