World Space Week 2021 - 7 Points to Understand

Updated: Feb 8

Since 1999, at the initiative of the United Nations General Assembly, World Space Week has been held from 4 to 10 October, defined as "an international celebration of science and technology and their contribution to improving the human condition". This year the theme of the event is the role of women in the space sector.

The start and end dates of the World Week were chosen based on two important events in the history of Space: the launch of the first man-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1 (4 October 1957) and the entry into force of the Outer Space Treaty (10 October 1967) regulating the exploration and use of celestial bodies.

Our Research Centre, through its analysts, wants to give a contribution focused on the prospects of space exploration (from new lunar missions to space tourism, passing through mining on celestial bodies) and its consequences (space debris, first of all). Enjoy!

1. To the Moon and beyond: Mars is waiting for us

(by Giorgio Cardile)


Moon, 384 thousand km average distance from Earth. Mars, 54.6 million km (minimum distance). Today, ambitious missions such as the Artemis Program promise to lay the foundations for human presence in these two celestial bodies so far away, starting with our satellite. Starting with the release of scientific materials via missions without human personnel, we will later see missions with astronauts helping to create refueling stations that use the ice on the surface and in regolith, of which the Moon is completely covered. 3D printing and exploitation of in situ resources will be essential to ensure the success and expansion of the first outposts (here the various phases of the Artemis Program).

Once a self-sustaining base is established on the Moon, it will be much more feasible to launch manned missions to Red Planet, which is still too far away for economically viable missions as large as Artemis. The next decade is sure to be very exciting!

2. Towards the ocean of stars: space tourism

(by Giorgio Cardile)

turismo spaziale

Since entrepreneur Dennis Tito paid $20 million for an 8-day stay at the International Space Station in 2001, the space tourism industry has advanced greatly. The idea of being able to get close, albeit imperceptibly, to the ocean of stars above us sends a shiver down the spine of virtually anyone. In order to make it economically accessible to those who are not eccentric super billionaires (see the