The first housing modules of a future base on the Moon could be made in Italy: the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and NASA have in fact signed a bilateral cooperation agreement for the realization of a preliminary study dedicated to the development of housing capacities. of the Lunar Surface Multi-Purpose Habitation Modules, proposed by Asi as part of the Artemis program.
The agreement was signed by the president of ASI, Giorgio Saccoccia, and by the administrator of NASA, Bill Nelson, on the sidelines of the 17th session of the Interministerial Committee for Policies relating to Space and Aerospace Research (Comint), chaired by the minister for technological innovation and digital transition with responsibility for space and aerospace policies, Vittorio Colao, and in the presence of the minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Luigi Di Maio.
The ASI will conduct the study with the support of the Italian industry in order to develop a project compliant with the objectives of the Artemis mission and the requirements provided by NASA.
The latter will undertake to support the Agency by providing updated technical and programmatic information on the program.
The Artemis program will lay the foundations for a long-term presence on the lunar surface and will use our satellite to validate the living systems in deep space, indispensable for future missions to Mars.
As part of the Artemis program, NASA will conduct a mission bringing the first woman and the next man to the lunar surface, using the Space Launch System (SLS) launcher that will transport astronauts aboard the Orion capsule.
Saccoccia (Asi), is a recognition of the Italian experience
The bilateral agreement between the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and NASA for the design of the first module for the lunar surface is a recognition of the long Italian experience in the field of living modules for space.
"We were among the first countries to produce pressurized modules and we have become leaders in low orbit", Giorgio Saccoccia, president of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), told ANSA, referring to the modules and nodes of the Space Station, the 50% of which built in Italy.
"We are doing the same in the lunar orbit, with I-Hab and now we move to the surface of the Moon: we want to be part of the first core of the lunar infrastructure."
The first element of the future lunar base will be a logistic-scientific module, with a single service environment, destined to have an important function during the settlement phase ".
The result obtained by Italy is also the first step to "enable commercial service opportunities in the future", observed the president of ASI, referring to activities related to the exploitation of lunar resources and the production of materials and technologies in a different environment. from the terrestrial one: "we are only at the beginning of the opportunities that this environment can offer" and "the idea of the Artemis program is to manage a scenario in which both scientific and productive activities can be carried out on the lunar surface".