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L'accesso allo spazio, settore strategico per l'Italia e l'Europa


Access to space represents a set of technologies at the frontier of innovation. Launcers, which are also visual and recognizable symbols of this sector, concentrate an extremely high level of research and development activities and are therefore to be considered strategic for technological policy. In fact, the framework of the “space market” is changing rapidly: there is a growing development of mini-satellites and a spread of satellites’ usage (nowadays more than 60 countries use them) in a context of strong competition. Such a completion is boosted by important US private investments, but also by a stronger European public effort in the sector, also through the European Union. In this context, launchers only absorb 5 per cent of the market, yet they are essential for an autonomous capacity to place satellites in Earth’s orbit. At global level, more than 80 lift-offs take place every year, which corresponds to one launch every four days. The aim of this document is to draw stakeholders’ attention to the technological, industrial and strategic importance of the launchers sector, and to the main related issues.