10-12 May 2023 – Turin – Italy

International conference on


International conference on


10-12 May 2023 – Turin – Italy


This three-day international conference organised by the Air and Space Academy (AAE) will take place at Politecnico di Torino (presential only), with the support of this university, of the Italian Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIDAA) and of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC).

Dedicated to Space exploration, automated as well as manned, the purpose of the conference is to focus on a few important themes underpinning Space Exploration rather than trying to embrace the full scope of activities, with the aim of providing useful input to agencies or other bodies in charge of building programmes.

Several keynote speeches given by leading personalities will address exploration purposes and policies. Introduced by an overview of the current state of play of scientific knowledge and technical progress, seven sessions will examine aspects often under-represented in space policies but fundamental for most exploration projects. Each theme will be prepared by a dedicated group of experts, tasked with publishing a detailed paper on the conference website summarising the main issues to be addressed and providing first orientations.

1 Philosophy and human motivations: What are the profound motivations for automated, and especially human, space exploration? Where does the public interest in this endeavour come from?

2 Water: Both a scientific and engineering issue. This is about amplifying knowledge about water presence, inspiring new robotic space missions including in-situ water catch machines and return of samples on Earth and preparing human exploration to the Moon and Mars.

3 Going Faster: Exploration voyages to distant solar system destinations, from mission concept to data collection and exploitation, span across at least two generations. Are there ways to accelerate the process? comprehensive vs targeted exploration? role of international collaboration? can new power generation and propulsion technologies in development help?

4 Flying machines: Solar system bodies with a significant atmosphere have been explored with balloons or parachute probes. Future such missions would require the development of various technologies and orbital infrastructures (e.g. communications). Gliders, drones, and motorized aerobots would provide significantly new capabilities to explore atmospheres.

5 Lunar environment: This topic will explore the means to keep the lunar orbits clean and free of debris, as well as looking into the question of waste management on the Lunar surface, particularly for manned settlements.

6 Humans and robots: Automated means cannot be set against manned missions: humans and robots will always be complementary. The combination and interface of humans and AI must be carefully considered and optimized.

7 Dream missions: This theme will be managed by SGAC with the support of AAE: the purpose is to involve mainly young people, encouraging out-of-the-box thinking and projects for original missions, for instance, deploying a swarm of interconnected drones in Titan’s atmosphere, or even missions with an “entertainment” side objective.

Each of these themes will be prepared by a dedicated workshops, bringing together a dozen or so experts to draft a detailed paper summarizing the main issues to be addressed and giving first orientations.

The full programme of the conference, in particular the list of speakers and the organisation of each session, will be confirmed on these bases.

A wrap-up session will aim to tease out the various ideas that have emerged during the conference.

A synthesis, including recommendations, will be compiled by AAE following the conference and disseminated widely to all stakeholders.

Conference organized by the Air & Space Academy with the support of :