Finmeccanica space technology at the Milan Science Museum
From Sirio 1, the first all-Italian telecommunications satellite launched almost forty years ago, to the Spacelab, the first scientific laboratory in space, through to modern technology used for the International Space Station, the activities of the Finmeccanica Group connected with space stem from a long-standing, consolidated tradition that has never ceased. As from today, the tale of those experiences is part of a new, large area of the Leonardo da Vinci Milan Science and Technology Museum dedicated to the exploration of the cosmos.
The new section opened its doors on 29th October, offering the public two main themed units telling the story of four centuries of astronomy with their stars and seventy years of extraterrestrial flights of man "Osservare lo Spazio dalla Terra" [Observing Space from Earth] and "Andare nello Spazio" [Going into Space]. The display features fascinating original historical objects, told by those who work with and in space, interactive challenges, in-depth information and oddments. An opportunity for Finmeccanica to offer a concrete demonstration of its commitment to spreading the culture and knowledge of the world of Space and to showing experts and enthusiasts some of the most cutting-edge technologies developed by the Group companies operating in this sector, Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space and Selex ES.
Telespazio, one of the world's most important players in the field of satellite services, makes its contribution in the form of two video installations highlighting the role of the satellites in everyday life and in safeguarding the planet Earth. With Love Planet Earth, optical satellite images and extremely high resolution radars processed by e-GEOS (Telespazio 80%, ASI – Agenzia Spaziale Italiana – 20%), show the various environmental themes connected with climate change. Un giorno senza satelliti [A day without satellites] draws attention to the essential role played by satellites in our everyday lives. If the satellites were to suddenly be disabled, it would no longer be possible to do many of the things we do regularly, without thinking about it: browsing the internet, watching television, withdrawing money from the cash machine, finding our way using satellite navigation devices, localising restaurants or other places of interest with a smartphone.
Thales Alenia Space, a world point of reference in the sector of satellite systems for telecommunications, monitoring the Earth, defence and security, exploring and scientific research, shows visitors COSMO-SkyMed, the first system for observing the Earth that has been entirely developed in Italy, which provides innovative technology as a response to the growing demands for the security of citizens, infrastructures and territory and the protection of the environmental resources of the contemporary world. It is a constellation of four satellites, each with synthetic-opening radar sensors, cutting-edge technology that allows the satellites to operate in any meteorological condition, differently to optical satellites.
Selex ES,international protagonist of the Electronics sector for Defence and Security and with consolidated competences in the field of space systems and instruments, exhibits the Exomars Drill System, a highly-technological product used in the ExoMars programme, the robotic mission of the ESA (European Space Agency), which aims to search out signs of life directly on the surface of Mars and analyse the geographical-chemical characteristics and the distribution of water on the various areas of the red planet. The drill can collect samples of Martian materials of up to a depth of two metres, to deposit them in the analytical laboratory of the Rover of ExoMArs II (the robotic vehicle that explores the red planet) and thereby enable analysis in real time of the conformation of the Martian subsoil. The Lightning Imager can also be observed, one of the instruments implemented for the third-generation Meteosat mission, designed to survey and map the lightning strikes that form between the clouds and the clouds and the Earth.