The sky is the limit: Italy's contribution to the space race

May 13, 2022 417

BY: Francesca Bezzone

Last week, eight years after her first historical mission, our Samantha Cristoforetti – lovingly known as Astro Samantha – returned to Space. At 9.52 a.m. Italian time, on the 27th of April, SpaceX’s Freedom brought her, and three other astronauts, to the ISS.

But Italy’s love story with Space didn’t start with Samantha. If you think of it, we’ve been mingling with the stars above since the times of Galileo. Today, though, we don’t want to go all the way back to Renaissance, but focus on the country’s 20th and 21st-century contribution to the “space race.” Nothing like what the US did, perhaps, but significant nonetheless, as the regular presence of our astronauts in important international missions shows.

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