You wouldn't expect to find the largest space center in the world for civilian use in the middle of farm fields outside the tiny town of Ortuccio in Abruzzo, but Google Earth shows the importance of this complex. Built in 1963, the Fucino Telespazio Center contains over 100 working dish antenna radio telescopes, and dozens of control rooms that do everything from guiding the launch of satellites into their final orbit to interpreting data and images studying weather, agriculture, water, oceanography, deserts, population, and intelligence. Fucino also hosts one of the control centres that will manage the 30 satellites and the operational activities of the European satellite navigation system Galileo. It's very fitting to see Galileo's vision come so far in Italy...
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