S2S - Space to Space: Scientific and Technological Challenges for Human and Robotic Space Exploration


VA Vittorio Ancona

Vittorio Ancona

Thales Alenia Space, Italy

PF Pietro Ferraro

Pietro Ferraro

Institute of Applied Sciences and Intelligent Systems, National Research Council, Italy

PM Paolo Maggiore

Paolo Maggiore

Politecnico di Torino, Italy

PM Piero Messidoro

Piero Messidoro

Politecnico di Torino, Italy

AC Ilaria Amelia Caggiano

Ilaria Amelia Caggiano

Università Suor Orsola Benincasa, Italy


Never before in the history of humanity the desire and ambition to explore and conquest the space has been so extraordinary sought. Several real-world plans are currently under examinations in fixing disruptive goals for space exploration to reach just in a couple of decades from now (i.e. realize human and robotic colony on moon and mars).
This urges to afford several challenges issues on both scientific and technological aspects in order to accomplishing with success several missions according to the declared timeline.

Although the progresses of technology in the recent past has made giant steps forward on many fields, human and robotic space exploration needs to be further pushed and assessed on different aspects. The aim of this session is to offer presentation on the state of the art of science and technology and at same time furnishing a discussion forum for the still needed R&D efforts in order to guarantee operative success and longterm reliability of space systems.

On the other side, all the technology related to the space exploration requires significant development of new metrological tools and new modalities for design, measuring and testing. In this context, metrology may play a significant role also for assessing legal compliance and impact on ethical principles of Space technologies, as well as for designing new regulations, where needed.


The topics of the session will include, but will not limited the following:

  • Engineering space design, new materials and new construction of infrastructures for human habitation in order to warrant human health for long space missions including: functionalized materials to avoid and/or control microbiological issues in human space modules, inflatable pressurized flexible structures to allow volume growing in space and on planets, additive manufacturing products to utilize in-situ resources,Lunar Communication System...);
  • Systems for full robotic space explorations for materials extraction, sampling, probing, visualizing, measuring the space environment, automated system for constructions, refueling, energy generation, ISRU on Moon;
  • Vehicle for supporting human exploration including: rovers (both autonomous and human), landers (both autonomous and human), spaceplanes, drones, helicopters, hoppers, Re-entry vehicle (Space Rider), Lunar Shelter, Lunar Habitat;
  • Wearable electronic sensors and Lab on Chip technology for continuous health monitoring and biomedical diagnosis (i.e. early detection of biomarkers in body fluids, human behavior biomarkers by computer visions systems, smart textiles, nanosensors, );
  • Almost or Fully automated Science MaterialLab and BioLab in permanent infrastructures for supporting both human/robotic exploration sampling and human and vegetal life suistinability;
  • Subsystems of space infrastructures (riciclo acque, protezione radiazioni, indoor environmental control, bio regenerative, illumination, crew collaborative robotics, AI solutions, guidance navigation and control including visual autonomous navigation, locomotions, etc;
  • Systems for monitoring health (NDT, NDI), for maintenance and repairing (selfreparing) of space infrastructures;
  • Regulation of human presence and activities in Space; regulation of IA and Robotics for Space;
  • Compliance of Space technologies with relevant legislation and ethical principles; Impact assessment on data protection, fundamental rights and sustainability (FRIA, SIA);
  • Regulation of health devices for space; tools for measuring legal compliance, impact assessment on Fundamental Rights and sustainability;
  • Regulation Impact Assessment.


Vittorio Ancona, graduated in Electronic Engineering at the University of Palermo in 1987. He works for Thales Alenia Space , Domain Space Exploration and Science, since 1989 in the System Engineering, Verification and Testing Area. He has had direct responsibilities in manned and unmanned spacecraft including Scientific Satellites, Exomars Spacecrafts and Re-Entry Vehicles. Since 2018 he is Head of the System Engineering Management and Verification Department and responsible for Engineering Standardization and Performances . Since 2017 Mr. Ancona has been serving as an external Professor at the Politecnico di Torino giving lectures in System Engineering and Verification in the International Master course SEEDS (SpacE Exploration and Development Systems). Since 2017 he is Aerospace Testing Seminar International Coordinator and Co-Chairman for the International Workshop on Verification and Testing of Space Systems.

Pietro Ferraro, is Research Director at Institute of Applied Science and Intelligent Systems, National Council of Research (CNR-ISASI), Pozzuoli, Italy. He is now pursuing his interests in 3D imaging for applications in non destructive testing in aerospace, biomedical field, fiber sensors, nanofluidics, and optofluidics. He has published about 300 papers in peer-review journals and has been an invited speaker in several international conferences. He is a co-editor of two books: Micro-/ Nanoengineering and Characterization of Ferroelectric Crystals for Photonic Applications (New York, NY, USA: Springer-Verlag, 2008) and Coherent Light Microscopy(New York, NY, USA: SpringerVerlag, 2011). Dr. Ferraro is a Fellow of the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) and the Optical Society of America (OSA). He is the Topical Editor of Biomedical Optics Express, member of the Editorial Board of the Optics and Lasers in Engineering Journal, member of the Editorial Board of the Measurement & Science Technology Journal. He received the SPIE Dannis Gabor Awared in 2020. He has served as member of the Scientific Board of Italian Space Agency (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana) from 2019-2023.

Paolo Maggiore, graduated in aerospace engineering at Politecnico di Torino. He is author of many technical papers regarding aerospace general systems, reliability, satellite testing integration and verification, logistics and design methodologies applied to space systems. At the present he is associate professor at Politecnico di Torino. His interests range from concurrent engineering to preliminary design methodologies applied to satellites, pressurised modules and exploration architectures; he is involved in studies of robotic systems, small electrical power generation units and innovative optical sensors supporting prognostic functions for space applications. The development of some applications on these subjects occurs in collaboration with Thales Alenia Space, ESA, ASI (Italian Space Agency) and Regione Piemonte.

Piero Messidoro, graduated in Nuclear Engineering at the Politecnico di Torino in 1974. He worked for Thales Alenia Space since 1975 in the System Engineering, Verification and Testing area. He has had direct responsibilities in manned and unmanned spacecraft including scientific satellites and International Space Station modules. Since 2013 he was Chief Technical Officer of Thales Alenia Space Italy and deputy CTO VP for R&D, Technology and Product Policy across the entire TAS until his retirement at the end of 2017. Since 2001 Mr. Messidoro has been serving as an external Professor at the Politecnico di Torino giving lectures in Systems Engineering and Program Management in the International Master course SEEDS (SpacE Exploration and Development Systems) as well as in other Space Systems Engineering courses. He is still active in the space business and among several collaborations with Universities and Institutions is presently supporting Piedmont Region as chairman of the NEREUS "technology from space exploration" WG and as Space expert in the Piedmont Agency for the internationalization of the SME's. Due to his contribution to Space Exploration research and missions the International Astronomical Union and NASA assigned the name "Messidoro" to the Asteroid 24856. He is Venture Partner of the Primo Space Fund and member of the Scientific Committee of the Center for Near Space (CNS).

Prof. Ilaria Amelia Caggiano, Ph. D, graduated in Law at Federico II University of Naples in 2003 and Fulbright Visiting Scholar in 2011, is Full Professor of Private Law at the Suor Orsola Benincasa University of Naples (IT), where she teaches Private Law and New Technologies Law and holds the EUGREENEXT Jean Monnet Chair on Sustainability. Since 2021 she is Director of the Master in DPO and Privacy Law. She is Deputy Director of the ReCEPL Research Centre of European Private Law, specialized in technology, innovation and sustainability, and of the European Journal of Privacy Law and Technologies international legal review. She currently serves as an Expert in Digital Law of the Italian Ministry of Health. She is author of three monographs and several publications in monetary trust law, protection of investors, protection of vulnerabilities in Data protection, and biotechnologies. She is now pursuing her interests in regulation and governance of data economy, electronic health data and data space, fundamental rights and sustainability impact assessment (FRIA and SIA).