Italy Contributed 3 Instruments to NASA-ASI IXPE Mission

NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission is the first satellite dedicated to measuring the polarization of X-rays from a variety of cosmic sources, such as black holes and neutron stars. (Credits: NASA)

ROME (ASI PR) — A lot of Italian science born from the exclusive collaboration between NASA and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) was aboard the IXPE (Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer) satellite, which took off punctually from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7.00 Italian time on 9 December. A Falcon 9 carrier from the private company SpaceX was used for the launch. The launch was attended by the president of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Giorgio Saccoccia, and the administrator of NASA, Bill Nelson.


LICIACube is Ready for the First Planetary Defense Mission

LICIACube (Credit: Argotec)

An Italian microSat, made by Argotec and ASI, which will fly with NASA towards an asteroid

ROME (ASI PR) — LICIACube, the microsatellite built entirely in the Argotec plants in Turin on behalf of and in collaboration with the Italian Space Agency (ASI), will be delivered and shipped in the coming weeks to the integration site in the United States in preparation for the launch, scheduled for the end year, of the first planetary defense mission from future potential asteroid threats .


D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier Rides to Space atop SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket

Falcon 9 launches the Transporter-2 mission. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

FINO MORNASCO, Italy, June 30th, 2021 (D-Orbit PR) — D-Orbit, a leader in the space logistics and orbital transportation industry, announced today the successful launch of another ION Satellite Carrier (ION), its proprietary orbital transportation vehicle. ION lifted off on June 30th, 2021, at 9:31 pm CEST, atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida. On the same day, 60 minutes after liftoff, the vehicle was successfully deployed into a 500 km Sun synchronous orbit (SSO).


ESA Funds Research into Lunar Cave Explorer

DAEDALUS robot (Credit: Julius-Maximilians-University)

WURZBURG, Germany (ESA PR) — What might look like a dangling hamster ball is actually a robotic sphere to explore the depths of lunar caves.

Designed by a team coordinated by Germany’s Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg (JMU), the Descent And Exploration in Deep Autonomy of Lunar Underground Structures, DAEDALUS, robot is being evaluated by ESA’s Concurrent Design Facility, as part of a larger study of lunar cave mission concepts.


Texas Astronomer Uses 25-year-old Hubble Data to Confirm Planet Proxima Centauri c

Fritz Benedict is an emeritus Senior Research Scientist with The University of Texas at Austin’s McDonald Observatory. (Credit: McDonald Observatory)

AUSTIN (McDonald Observatory PR) — Fritz Benedict has used data he took over two decades ago with Hubble Space Telescope to confirm the existence of another planet around the Sun’s nearest neighbor, Proxima Centauri, and to pin down the planet’s orbit and mass.

Benedict, an emeritus Senior Research Scientist with McDonald Observatory at The University of Texas at Austin, will present his findings today in a scientific session and then in a press conference at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.