Space, in a book because it is “the challenge of the present”

Dedicated to the sustainable future in orbit and on Earth, the volume was born from a project by Telespazio and SEE Lab of SDA Bocconi

Arrives at the bookstore “Space: the challenge of the present” (Hoepli), a book dedicated to the sustainable future in space and on Earth born from a project by Telespazio And SEE Lab of SDA Bocconi. The joint venture between Leonardo (67%) and Thales (33%) joined forces with the SEE Lab of SDA Bocconi School of Management to present the book “Space: the challenge of the present”, written by the American author and journalist David W. Brown and published by Hoepli. The volume is already available in bookshops and online stores and is dedicated to the theme of sustainability, in space and on Earth. The work offers readers, not necessarily space enthusiasts, an exciting journey towards a fully sustainable future.

By exploring the profound connections between space and Earth and through the voices of the many experts who took part in the project, the book shows how preserving and protecting space can help build a better world for future generations. The volume is divided into two narrative levels. The first, more informative, outlines a track that introduces the topics covered by the different chapters and gives the meaning of the entire project. The individual chapters instead contain interviews with prominent personalities in the space sector, capable of describing its new and exciting frontiers. The interviews, curated by the SEE Lab team, collect the voices of Paolo Nespoli, John C. Mankins, Paolo Gaudenzi, Simonetta Di Pippo, Waltraut Hoheneder, Barbara Imhof, René Waclavicek, Angel Abbud-Madrid, Kevin O’Connell, Moriba Jah , Cynda Collins Arsenault and Victoria Samson.

In a holistic vision that combines sustainability on Earth and in space, the volume offers a map of technologies and activities that are only apparently distant from us, such as space solar power, research and manufacturing in conditions of low gravity and space vacuum or the development of sustainable architecture outside our planet, which will instead be central to addressing the most urgent environmental and social challenges of the coming years. Through an engaging narrative full of ideas, the work reveals that it is not only the space technologies created to serve the Earth that prove useful for Man and his future, but also the progress made to simplify life in space .

What if studies on the habitability of other celestial bodies taught us to build our earthly homes better? What if communications technologies designed for the moon could make information exchanges on Earth more efficient? The connections between space and terrestrial sustainability are multiplying and this is just one of the reasons why we should take care of the space environment as an irreplaceable resource. Brown’s reflections, combined with the authoritative interviews contained in the work, convey a sense of gratitude towards space, as well as the growing need to preserve and protect a resource so essential for our future.

The challenges linked to the sustainability of space, such as the management of space debris and responsible use of orbits, then reveal the need for international cooperation, at the level of institutions, agencies and companies, to be achieved in a more than short time. A role that is anything but marginal is the one that falls to each of us: will we be able to develop a new ecological awareness or will we take action clearly late, as we are already doing for our planet? These themes will also be at the center of the seventy-fifth edition of the International Astronautical Congress (Iac), the most important international event in the space sector, which will be held in Milan in October 2024. With the motto “Responsible Space for Sustainability”, the event is organized by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and co-organised by Aidaa, Asi and Leonardo.