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Italy could produce EU cargo space shuttles

Turin plant among the candidates for ESA's "Leo Cargo Return Initiative"

Cargo shuttles to travel and move goods autonomously in the cosmos. The European Space Agency (ESA) has started a program to develop spacecraft that could be built at the Italian-French company Thales Alenia Space's Italian plant in Turin. The goal would be to develop the first unit by 2030.

It is "a preliminary study of what the European cargo could become. The peculiarity compared to the cargo spacecraft developed so far is that of transporting a large volume of goods into Low Earth Orbit and then being able to bring at least two tons back to earth", explained Walter Cugno, manager of the Turin plant, interviewed by the Italian television broadcaster "Rainews".

Leading the European Space Agency's "Leo Cargo Return Initiative", which aims to develop a cargo delivery service to and from space stations in low orbit, is Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. On the table there are 25 million euros put in by Europe for the development of the spacecraft, which will be built by Thales Alenia Space or by the Franco-German company The exploration company.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency