The city of Milan was selected to host the 75th edition of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), which will be held in 2024. The announcement was made by the Committee composed by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), the academic association Italian Aeronautics and Astronautics Association (AIDAA), and Leonardo, the Italian aerospace industry leader

The Italian delegation at the 72nd edition of the International Astronautical Congress in Dubai
The Italian delegation at the 72nd edition of the International Astronautical Congress in Dubai

The IAC, the most important international event in the sector, is organized every year by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), which currently includes 73 member countries. 

Giorgio Saccoccia, president of ASI, said: “The work accomplished in the last months leading us to this prestigious victory was a beautiful example of how the Italian ecosystem works with great effectiveness in the space sector. The Selection Committee has rewarded the precision and accuracy of our candidacy, indirectly recognizing the Italian leadership in the current international space scenario.” 

The slogan chosen by the city of Milan for the 75th IAC is “Responsible Space for Sustainability“, with the aim of raising awareness in the international community for a conscious and responsible use of the space environment. 

Giorgio Saccoccia, president of the Italian Space Agency
Giorgio Saccoccia, president of ASI ©asknews

Milan was selected over other important candidate cities such as Budapest, São Paulo, Seville and Adelaide. The Italian city was selected by the International Astronautical Federation’s General Assembly, which gathered in Dubai from 25th to 29th October at the 72nd edition of the IAC

The event in Dubai allowed the Italian delegation, led by ASI President Saccoccia, to strengthen relations with other agencies and to sign new bilateral agreements. In addition to meetings with NASA and the agencies of Mexico and Luxembourg, ASI signed an important memorandum of understanding with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), with the aim of “establishing a framework for cooperation between the Participants to promote and organize the exchange of information and expertise, as well as cooperative activities, in the areas of research and development, academic exchange, and industry collaboration”. Moreover, ASI signed an agreement with the International Space University, which will allow six Italian students to attend the university’s programs. 

The 72nd IAC thus concluded an extremely positive year for the Italian space sector, full of positive results and also of prestigious appointments, such as that of Simonetta Cheli, who was chosen by the European Space Agency (ESA) as the new Director of its Earth Observation Programmes and as Head of ESRIN, ESA’s centre for Earth observation in Frascati, Italy. 

Simonetta Cheli, the new Director of ESA's Earth Observation Programmes
Simonetta Cheli, the new Director of ESA’s Earth Observation Programmes

Mr. Saccoccia is already thinking about his plans for next year, as he told askanews journalist Luciana Papa: “we will soon launch a series of new initiatives, thanks to the 2-billion-euro loan ASI recently received from Comint, the Italian Ministerial Committee for Space, and the additional funds of Next Generation EU.” 

As we wrote in a previous article, the Italian space sector is strong and constantly growing, and it is characterized by the presence of first-class players, known for their innovative capacity and the quality of their products. Mr. Saccoccia hopes that next year will bring about “a quantum leap in the capacity of the Italian space system, both in quantitative and qualitative terms, in the sense that we expect these investments to strengthen our knowledge, know-how, products and technologies and make us even more competitive at the international level”.