The Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica di Milano (IASF-MI for short) is one of the 16 research structures of INAF (Istituto Nazionale di AstroFisica) covering the national territory. It has been founded in 1969 by the late Prof. Giuseppe (Beppo) Occhialini, and since then it is active in the study of the universe through observations from space and ground-based observatories, at wavelengths ranging from radio up to γ-rays. A direct witnessing of the early times is available here
IASF-MI activities range from instrument development to observations and data interpretation for a variety of astrophysical topics, and throughout the years the researchers of IASF-MI have been working, often playing a leadership role, on many important scientific fields: high energy compact galactic sources, extragalactic redshift surveys, X-ray clusters, to mention some. Among the instrumental developments originated at IASF-MI, a particular mention should be devoted to the electroforming technique to manufacture X-ray reflecting mirrors (on board the Beppo-Sax and XMM-Newton X-ray satellites) and corrugated feed horns (prototypes for the antennas developed for Planck LFI), both initiated in our mechanical workshop. The first actuators of the 1-meter prototype mirror for active optic, now on display at the Deutsche Museum in Munich, were developed at IASF-MI under an ESO contract at the beginning of the ’80ies.