The link between Colleferro and industrial innovation is a story that comes from long ago. It is the story of an explosives and chemists products factory, BPD, founded in 1912 by Leopoldo Parodi Delfino, with a a small working-class village, around which a municipality was born in 1935 autonomous, a city of corporate foundation, designed by Riccardo Morandi.
The link between Colleferro and industrial innovation is a story that comes from long ago.
In that factory, as early as 1927, the first experiments of chemical powder rockets, and, after the war, the first productions of sounding rocket propellants were carried out, for use in research into high-altitude atmosphere. In 1966 the BPD of Colleferro obtained the first contract with.
ELDO, forerunner of the current ESA; in 1969, the Apollo 11 undercarriage of the moon landing came from Colleferro, designed by Tommaso Moreschini; in 1975, the assignment for the development and production of engines of the European Ariane launcher arrived.
Today Colleferro is a City of Culture and Business, and the BPD which, in the meantime, has become Avio S.p.A., it is a leading company in the sector of space propulsion, offering competitive solutions for launching institutional, governmental and commercial loads in Earth orbit, through the Vega rocket family.
Italy 60 years in Space
The history of Colleferro coincides with the history of the Italian space. Thanks to the development of propellants for the first sounding rockets for high-altitude atmosphere research, the San Marco Project was born in 1962. A few years before in 1957, the year of the Sputnik launch, the US is chasing the Soviet Union in the Space Race. In this context there is Italy which, with the San Marco Project, becomes the third power in the world to design and send into orbit, from its own platform, an artificial satellite. This great enterprise has, among its protagonists, the Prof. Luigi Broglio, father of Italian astronautics.
Colleferro European Space Capital will also have an opportunity to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the Italian space age. Sixty years of great challenges, which have led the Italian aerospace sector to be among the best seven in the world, a sector that among major players and SMEs, employs 200,000 people and produces 1% of GDP.
Among the big players is Avio S.p.A., the protagonist, who recently launched the carrier rocket Vega, which for the first time in history, brought in orbit 53 satellites with a single mission.
Parallel to the great results in aerospace research and production, Italy is also land of astronauts. Franco Malerba, the first Italian in space, Maurizio Cheli, Paolo Nespoli, Roberto Vittori, Samantha Cristoforetti, Umberto Guidoni, the first Europeans to enter the ISS – International Space Station, and Luca Parmitano, the first Italian and third European in charge of the ISS.