Lunar space economy takes centre stage at Italy Pavilion

As part of the Italy Pavilion’s events dedicated to the Expo 2020 Dubai’s Space Week, Italy-headquartered high-technology company Leonardo organised the international conference themed “The Lunar Space Economy: The First Steps Towards an Interplanetary Generation”, on 19th October, 2021.

The main theme of the event was Moon exploration, the next critical step for space agencies around the world and private entrepreneurs. The return to the lunar surface is a crucial factor in developing an interplanetary generation that will protect humanity on Earth and in the future could also be called to guide us towards new places to live in outer space.

Leonardo Chief Executive Officer, Alessandro Profumo highlighted, “Our collective ambitions in space also matter to our own planet and its future. Making interplanetary exploration more sustainable by using lunar resources is one aim. But there is a second goal: to improve our quality of life on Earth.”

Space could offer essential resources that will be scarce or costly to the Earth’s environment. “Think about rare-Earth elements for electronic devices, for example. There are also opportunities to advance science and technology in areas like power generation, energy storage, recycling, and advanced robotics,” Profumo added.

Exploration, mining and recovering technologies and potential solutions for a living habitat on the Moon are some of the themes covered at the event by agencies and institutions, academia, industries and astronauts, who discussed how to create synergies to make the equation 2+2=5 work.

For the great lunar adventure, infrastructure, artificial intelligence, robotics, connectivity, services and operations are needed, all skills that Leonardo Group can make available. Leonardo’s joint venture Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67 percent, Leonardo 33 percent) contributes to the construction of the Lunar Gateway of the NASA Artemis mission. It is building critical systems of Orion, the spacecraft for astronauts. Leonardo’s robotic systems, equipped with advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence, will provide excellent support for the creation of a sustainable “Moon village”.

Robotic arms and drills will help build structures, dig and extract resources from underground. Leonardo holds a leadership role in space robotics, having already developed the drills for the Rosetta missions, ExoMars 2022, and now PROSPECT, for the Luna27 mission, and designing robotic arms for the Mars Sample Return programme. Finally, Telespazio (Leonardo 67 percent, Thales 33 percent) has been selected recently by ESA to study an infrastructure for telecommunications and lunar navigation.

Source: WAM – Emirates News Agency