ASI | Italian space agency

On February 28, he disappeared Antonio Teofelato At the age of 95, a pioneer in the satellite industry in Italy.
Born in 1927, Teofelato was one of the fathers of the satellite Sirius (Italian Industrial and Operational Research Satellite), Italy’s first commitment to the assets of the space communications sector.

Editing and technical testing on Sirio_ image from

The first geostationary satellite Made in italy It was launched on August 26, 1977 from Cape Canaveral. The experimental small satellite aims to study high-frequency radio waves to develop new possibilities for satellite telephone and television communications. A challenge steeped in obstacles that made Teofelato among the first heroes, at the time he was in charge of the CIA consortium that brought together the best Italian space capabilities to realize the project.

“He always had a great vision, which in many ways led to him being a pioneer – so recalls his nephew Paolo Teofelato, Antonio Teofelato, Dean of the Faculty of Aeronautical Engineering of Sapienza University in Rome and member of the Scientific Center of the Asi Technical Council – speaking of satellite constellations before many others and was among the first to possess intuition for the development of micro-satellite ».

The Sirio satellite, which was supposed to last only two years, remained operational until 1987 when it was shut down by the Fossino Space Center. A success that is emblematic of the farsightedness with which Theofellato has continually invested in the projects in which he was directly involved. His position has always been to combine a vision of the future with an ongoing interest in the applications and tangible goals of missions. Last but not least, the dedication to training the employees who helped him in this business. After the Sirio satellite experiment, Antonio Teofelato, in fact, raised a generation of aeronautical engineers with ItalspazioOperational reality in the development of satellite technologies.

“He was of his own making, formulating ideas. Thanks to his personal attitude, he was among the first companies, 30 years ago, to work on research contracts proposed by the European Space Agency »confirms Paolo Teofellato.

Throughout his life, a satellite pioneer has never lost his passion for knowledge and willingness to share knowledge. Even after Italspazio, 35 years after the historic Sirio satellite, Antonio Teofelato took part in the project at the age of 86 TegresatThe first Iraqi satellite.

The CubeSat TigriSat. Photo by Gauss

The CubeSat was designed and built by students of the “High-level Postgraduate Course in Aerospace Engineering” organized by the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of Sapienza University in Rome, in collaboration with the Iraqi Task Force (Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), the Iraqi Ministers of Science, Technology, Higher Education, Transport and the Italian Air Force.

Launched in 2014, CubeSat is intended to monitor dust storms and is still operational.

“It was built by the students thanks to the guidance of my uncle, who at the age of 87 took an active part and as one of them taught the elbow to the elbow. This is the lesson he leaves for us: knowledge is universal for all. The signed records of his career are the fruit of this persistent attitude to him »- concludes Paolo Teofelato.

Featured image: 1977 – The Italian Sirio satellite was tested at the European Space Agency’s ESTEC Center in the Netherlands, Source: Telespazio

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