From ‘drones’ to staying for months in the stratosphere to the future European space capsule, passing through reusable rockets and new materials for lunar colonies: these are just some of the many research programs underway at the Italian Center for Space Research (Cira) presented On the occasion of National Space Day.
Cira President, Giuseppe Morcello, said at the opening of the conference he organized at Cira’s headquarters in Capua on the occasion of the day. Several guests took turns presenting projects being developed at Cira and future projects.
Founded in 1984, Cira is in the process of deep renovation, with new software and infrastructure that will integrate with already developed businesses, such as the Vega launcher, built by Avio, and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Space Rider space shuttle born out of IXV developments dating back to Earth capsule.
“We are developing a series of labs and infrastructures with which to test everything you need to go, survive and return from space: from rooms to repeat the launch vibrations to a wind tunnel, to plasmas where conditions are around to return to the ‘atmosphere’,” explained Marcello Amato, Director General of Cira, providing an overview of the center and new projects: from propulsion, whether on electric drives for satellites or reusable liquid-fuel rockets, to materials to radiation protection needed for colonies to innovative space shuttles.
In spaceflight, then, there is not only Space Rider, the European capsule designed as a courier to do and carry out scientific experiments in orbit, but also Haps, a type of UAV that can move freely for months in the stratosphere, at an altitude of about 20,000 meters, for months . “A skill that no one currently possesses, a very difficult challenge to win but one that can guarantee significant advantages,” said Roberto Borsa, Director of Innovation and Communication at Cira. “The ability to stay in the same place for a long time, which is impossible for satellites – continued – ensures that large areas can be monitored continuously and with great accuracy.”
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