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  • The Italian Space Agency is a government agency established in 1988 to fund, regulate and coordinate space exploration activities in Italy. Operating under the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, the agency cooperates with numerous national and international entities who are active in aerospace research and technology, and with the Italian President of the Council of Ministers. Nationally, ASI is responsible for both drafting the National Aerospace Plan and ensuring it is carried out. To do this the agency operates as the owner/coordinator of a number of Italian space research agencies and assets such as CIRA as well as organising the calls and opportunities process for Italian industrial contractors on spaceflight projects. Internationally, the ASI provides Italy's delegation to the Council of the European Space Agency and to its subordinate bodies as well as representing the country’s interests in foreign collaborations. ASI's main headquarters are located in Rome, Italy, and the agency also has direct control over three operational centres. The Centre for Space Geodesy located in Matera and the stratospheric balloon launch site at Trapani are both in Italy. As well as these ASI has access to its own spaceport, the Broglio Space Centre on the coastal sublittoral of Kenya, currently used only as a communications ground station. In 2008 ASI's annual budget was approximately €820 m and directly employed around 200 workers. Wikipedia

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