US embassy cable - 02ROME3036

TOUR D'HORIZON WITH ASI PRESIDENT VETRELLA

Identifier: 02ROME3036
Wikileaks: View 02ROME3036 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Rome
Created: 2002-06-20 17:21:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: KTIA TSPA TSPA IT ITKTIA
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ROME 003036 
 
SIPDIS 
 
OES/SAT FOR BRAIBANTI, KARNER, OSTP FOR BRETT ALEXANDER, 
NASA FOR JOHN SCHUMACHER, PARIS FOR NASA/FELDSTEIN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KTIA, TSPA, TSPA, IT, ITKTIA 
SUBJECT: TOUR D'HORIZON WITH ASI PRESIDENT VETRELLA 
 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        ROME  03036  01 OF 02  201700Z 
REF: STATE 104344 
 
1. SUMMARY:  ESTOFFS MET WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE ITALIAN 
SPACE AGENCY (ASI), PROFESSOR SERGIO VETRELLA, ON JUNE 6, 
2002.  VETRELLA PROVIDED UPDATES ON GALILEO, ITALIAN SPACE 
PLAN, COSMO SKYMED, AND THE BIDDING PROCESS FOR THE AGILE 
LAUNCHER.  IN PARTICULAR, HE STRESSED THAT ALL EXISTING 
COOPERATIVE ACTIVITIES WITH NASA WERE INCLUDED IN THE PLAN. 
HE ALSO AGREED IN PRINCIPLE FOR ASI TO PARTICIPATE IN A 
BILATERAL PUBLIC DIPLOMACY PROJECT TO COINCIDE WITH THE 
CENTENARY OF THE FIRST FLIGHT OF THE WRIGHT BROTHERS.  AS A 
COURTESY, ESTOFFS ALSO BRIEFED VETRELLA ON REFTEL USG 
RESPONSE TO THE EUROPEAN REQUEST FOR A GOVERNMENT-LEVEL 
MEETING ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISS).  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
------- 
GALILEO 
------- 
 
2.  ESTOFFS INQUIRED ABOUT THE STATUS OF THE GALILEO GLOBAL 
NAVIGATIONAL SATELLITE SYSTEM PROGRAM.  VETRELLA HAD RECENTLY 
RETURNED FROM AN EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY (ESA) MEETING IN PARIS 
ON GALILEO.  ACCORDING TO VETRELLA, THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION 
(EC) AND ESA HAVE NOT YET REACHED AN AGREEMENT OF A DIVISION 
OF LABOR AND RESPONSIBILITY OVER THE DESIGN PHASE OF GALILEO. 
 WITHOUT THIS AGREEMENT, THE EC AND ESA WILL NOT BE ABLE TO 
BEGIN COOPERATION TO DEVELOP GALILEO AS A JOINT UNDERTAKING. 
ONCE THIS AGREEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED, VETRELLA ESTIMATED THAT 
IT WILL TAKE A YEAR AND A HALF TO ESTABLISH THE TECHNICAL 
SPECIFICATIONS FOR GALILEO.  DURING THIS PROCESS, VETRELLA 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        ROME  03036  01 OF 02  201700Z 
EXPECTS THAT IT WILL BE POSSIBLE TO DEFINE FROM A TECHNICAL 
POINT OF VIEW HOW GALILEO COULD BE FULLY INTEGRATED WITH GPS 
AND GLONASS.  BUT THE LEVEL OF INTEGRATION BETWEEN THESE 
SYSTEMS WILL BE ULTIMATELY SUBJECT TO A POLITICAL DECISION 
WITHIN THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU).  VETRELLA CLAIMED THAT THERE 
IS NO SUPPORT IN ITALY FOR A "NON-OPTIMIZED" SOLUTION.  HE 
DEFINED AN "OPTIMAL" SOLUTION AS ONE THAT ACHIEVED A 
HIGH-LEVEL OF INTEGRATION WITH GPS AND GLONASS. 
 
------------------ 
ITALIAN SPACE PLAN 
------------------ 
 
3.  WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE STATUS OF THE ITALIAN SPACE PLAN, 
VETRELLA STATED THAT IT HAD BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE MINISTRY OF 
UNIVERSITIES AND RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS (MUIR) FOR APPROVAL. 
AN INTERMINISTERIAL COUNCIL WILL EXAMINE THE PLAN AND WILL 
GIVE THE MINISTER OF UNIVERSITIES AND RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS A 
RECOMMENDATION.  ONCE THIS REVIEW PROCESS HAS BEEN COMPLETED, 
IT WILL BE SUBMITTED TO PARLIAMENT FOR INCLUSION IN THE 
BUDGET.  HE EXPECTED THAT IT WOULD BE PUBLISHED AS LAW BY 
MID-JULY 2002.  ONCE APPROVED THE SPACE PLAN WILL COVER ASI 
ACTIVITIES FOR THE 2003-2005 PERIOD.  HE STRESSED THAT ALL 
COOPERATIVE ACTIVITIES WITH NASA ARE INCLUDED IN THE PLAN. 
IN PARTICULAR, VETRELLA NOTED THAT THE ITALIAN COMMITMENTS TO 
THE SWIFT PROGRAM AND ISS HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THE PLAN.  IN 
DESCRIBING THE CHANGES HE MADE TO THE DRAFT SPACE PLAN THAT 
HAD BEEN COMPLETED AT THE TIME OF HIS ARRIVAL AT ASI, 
VETRELLA STATED THAT HE HAD TO RE-PRIORITIZE ASI OBJECTIVES 
AND LIMIT FUTURE PROJECTS IN ORDER TO STAY WITHIN BUDGETARY 
CONSTRAINTS ESTABLISHED BY THE NEW CENTER-RIGHT GOVERNMENT. 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        ROME  03036  01 OF 02  201700Z 
 
------------ 
COSMO SKYMED 
------------ 
 
4.  ACCORDING TO VETRELLA, THE DIVISION OF LABOR FOR COSMO 
SKYMED PROJECT IS STILL UNDER DISCUSSION AMONG THE ITALIANS, 
FRENCH AND GERMANS.  HE OFFERED TO PROVIDE THE MISSION WITH A 
COPY OF ASI'S IN-HOUSE STATUS REPORT ON COSMO SKYMED. 
 
-------------- 
AGILE LAUNCHER 
-------------- 
 
5.  ESTOFFS ASKED VETRELLA TO CONFIRM THAT THE TENDER FOR THE 
LAUNCHER FOR THE AGILE SCIENTIFIC SATELLITE HAD BEEN 
WITHDRAWN BY ASI.  TWO US FIRMS ARE COMPETING TO PROVIDE THE 
LAUNCHER FOR AGILE AS WELL AS ARIANE AND A RUSSIAN COMPANY, 
AND MISSION HAS PERFORMED SOME ADVOCACY ON BEHALF OF THE US 
COMPETITORS.  VETRELLA CONFIRMED THAT HE HAD WITHDRAWN THE 
BID PACKAGE BECAUSE HE DID NOT FEEL THAT THE BID PROCESS WAS 
BEING HANDLED PROPERLY.  HE INTENDS TO OFFER ANOTHER TENDER 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ8805 
 
PAGE 01        ROME  03036  02 OF 02  201701Z 
ACTION L-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AMAD-00  CIAE-00  DODE-00  DOEE-00  DOTE-00 
      WHA-00   EAP-00   EB-00    EUR-00   FAAE-00  UTED-00  VC-00 
      H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  NSCE-00 
      OES-01   PM-00    ACE-00   SS-00    TEST-00  T-00     PMB-00 
      LBA-00   SAS-00     /003W 
                  ------------------C02DDD  201701Z /38 
R 201721Z JUN 02 
FM AMEMBASSY ROME 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4363 
INFO EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE 
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 
AMEMBASSY TOKYO 
AMCONSUL FLORENCE 
AMCONSUL MILAN 
AMCONSUL NAPLES 
NASA WASHDC 
 
UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 ROME 003036 
 
SIPDIS 
 
OES/SAT FOR BRAIBANTI, KARNER, OSTP FOR BRETT ALEXANDER, 
NASA FOR JOHN SCHUMACHER, PARIS FOR NASA/FELDSTEIN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KTIA, TSPA, IT 
SUBJECT: TOUR D'HORIZON WITH ASI PRESIDENT VETRELLA 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        ROME  03036  02 OF 02  201701Z 
ONCE THE BID PROCESS MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE HAS BEEN 
REORGANIZED. 
 
---------------------- 
FIRST FLIGHT CENTENARY 
---------------------- 
 
6.  SCICOUNS REQUESTED ASI'S COOPERATION IN A POTENTIAL 
BILATERAL PROGRAM TO CELEBRATE THE CENTENARY OF THE WRIGHT 
BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT IN NOVEMBER 2002.  HE BRIEFED VETRELLA 
ON ONGOING INFORMAL DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN THE MISSION AND THE 
DIRECTOR OF THE ITALIAN AEROSPACE MUSEUM IN NAPLES.  MISSION 
BELIEVES THAT THIS EVENT WOULD PROVIDE AN EXCELLENT 
OPPORTUNITY TO ENHANCE PUBLIC AWARENESS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE 
ATLANTIC OF THE RICH HISTORY OF AEROSPACE COOPERATION BETWEEN 
ITALY AND THE UNITED STATES.  MISSION WILL EXPLORE THE 
POSSIBILITY OF JOINT PROGRAM BETWEEN THE NAPLES CENTER AND 
THE NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM AND THE US AIR FORCE 
MUSEUM.  MISSION INTENDS TO INVITE A SHUTTLE CREW TO 
PARTICIPATE IN THIS EVENT.  VETRELLA AGREED IN PRINCIPLE TO 
ASI PARTICIPATION IN THE EVENT.  EST SECTION WILL CONTINUE TO 
DISCUSS THIS PROJECT WITH OUR ASI CONTACTS. 
 
---------------------------- 
ISS GOVERNMENT-LEVEL MEETING 
---------------------------- 
 
7.  AS A COURTESY, ESTOFFS BRIEFED VETRELLA ON THE USG 
RESPONSE TO THE EUROPEAN REQUEST FOR A GOVERNMENT-LEVEL 
MEETING IN WASHINGTON ON THE FUTURE OF ISS.  VETRELLA WAS NOT 
AWARE THAT THE REQUEST HAD BEEN MADE AND WAS LARGELY 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        ROME  03036  02 OF 02  201701Z 
DISMISSIVE OF IT.  HE HAS NO ILLUSIONS ABOUT THE POLITICAL 
AND BUDGETARY FACTORS IMPINGING ON USG ISS POLICY.  SINCE THE 
MEETING CAN NOT BE HELD IN LATE JUNE 2002, VETRELLA BELIEVES 
THAT A MEETING WILL PROBABLY NOT TAKE PLACE UNTIL AUTUMN 2002 
DUE TO THE GERMAN ELECTIONS.  ALSO, HE THINKS THAT IT IS 
HIGHLY UNLIKELY THAT ANY SUBSTANTIVE MULTILATERAL DECISION ON 
ISS WILL TAKE PLACE PRIOR TO THE END OF THE YEAR. 
SEMBLER 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
> 
 2002ROME03036 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED 


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