The most exciting space event planned this year is in my opinion the launch of the combination SLS-Orion for the return of Humans to the Moon. This launch will give concreteness to the expectations of a Lunar Economy and credibility to the dream of a human journey to Mars in a distant, but not imaginary, horizon.
Moving beyond the Space Station and building habitable settlements on the Moon will confront us to the most difficult challenges of living in space, we will have to take on new risks and develop new technologies. In this talk I would gladly touch upon some of the human challenges in deep space, some hypotheses and scenarios that intersect with my past and present experiences: the challenge of food autonomy in space, the challenge of weightlessness protection. The latter one is linked somehow to my Shuttle mission in the space July 1992, whose 30th anniversary occurs this year, the first ASI astronaut mission, which I recall with pride and emotions.
Franco Malerba is the first Italian astronaut.
He was the scientific astronaut on the first mission of the Tethered satellite aboard the space shuttle Atlantis (1992).
Graduated in Electronic Engineering and Physics at the University of Genoa (Italy), he has a long international experience gained working with international research Institutions (CNR, ESA, NASA, ASI) and with important hi-tech industries (Digital Equipment, Alenia Spazio).
He was an elected Member of the European Parliament (94-99) engaged in policies for science and technological innovation and later was the Scientific Attaché at the Italian Diplomatic Representation in Paris (05-13) working with the OECD, ESA, and IEA-NEA.
In 2001 received the honors of Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana.
Member of the Order of the Italian journalists since 2001, free-lance columnist of scientific topics for the GEDI newspapers (La Stampa, Il Secolo XIX);
Lecturer at the University of Genoa and at the University of Leicester (UK);
Recital voice of the theatrical spectacle musical Journey in Space;
Organizer and architect of the Busalla Space Festival since 2017;
Founding partner of two spin-off of the University of Genoa – DBSpace and SpaceV - both enterprises are innovative startups in the space sector.