Simonetta Di Pippo
Simonetta Di Pippo - ASI Director for space science and exploration
Simonetta Di Pippo is an astrophysicist who has been working for the Italian Space Agency (ASI) since 1986, even before it was actually formally established in 1998.
During her career she held several key positions in fields such as Earth Observation, Advanced Studies, Robotic Systems and the International Space Station Programme (as a delegate to the supervising Board since 1988) with broad responsibilities in programme management and international relations.
Between 1999 and 2002 she acted as ASI’s Secretary General. During that period she chaired the Potential Participating States Board preparing the European Exploration Programme and later coordinated the Italian astronaut Roberto Vittori mission Marco Polo.
At international level she is among the founders both of the International Lunar Exploration and of the International Mars Exploration Working Groups (ILEWG and IMEWG) and was appointed by NASA as international Team Member of the Mars Architecture Study.
Since 2002 she holds the position of Director for ASI’s space science and exploration (“Osservazione dell’Universo”). In 2005 she was appointed as Chair of the European Space Agency’s Board supervising large space programmes such the European contribution to the ISS, the microgravity research activities and the European Space Exploration Programme “Aurora” with its ExoMars mission.
She was knighted by the Italian President of the Republic in 2006. She authored several scientific and technical papers and a book. She contributes regularly to outreach activities through interviews and interventions both on TV and on the press.
Last update: 22 February 2007