To celebrate the start of the countdown to 1st October 2021, when Expo 2020 will kick off in Dubai (postponed for a year due to the pandemic), Leonardo took part in a video forum entitled “The Future of the Earth lies in Space”, organised by the Commissioner’s General’s Office of the government in charge of Italy’s participation in Expo and the Italian press agency, ANSA. Aerospace will be the key theme of the first week of the event, demonstrating the importance of the sector in everyday life, and in the development of an innovative and sustainable future.
Luigi Pasquali, Coordinator of Leonardo’s space activities and CEO of Telespazio, attended the online forum which also included, among others, Paolo Glisenti, Italy’s Commissioner General of Section for Expo 2020 Dubai, and Riccardo Fraccaro, the Undersecretary of State to the Presidency of the Italian Council of Ministers with responsibility for Aerospace.
“Nowadays, space is an enabler of economic growth,” explained Mr Pasquali, “because space technologies are developed to meet the specific needs of institutions, citizens and businesses. At the heart lies a collaborative model based on a systemic approach between institutions and enterprises: this results in vision, investment planning, and technological choices based on a very rich industrial fabric, made up not only of large companies, but also a vast network of SMEs and start-ups.”
In describing Leonardo’s contribution to the Italian Pavilion in Dubai, which will feature an AW609 tiltrotor, an Atomic Clock and a drill produced for the ExoMars mission, Mr Pasquali pointed out that technology and innovation fully reflect the theme of the Italian pavilion: “beauty connects people”.
“The tiltrotor is an example of ‘beauty’, born from the encounter between culture, aesthetics and innovation. This aircraft is the epitome of Italian design and technology, and is sure to play a part in a newer, more sustainable form of mobility.” “At the opposite end of the scale,” continued Mr Pasquali, “there’s the beauty of capturing the beat of an atom, whose oscillation, measured to perfection by the atomic clock, ensures the unprecedented positioning accuracy of the Galileo navigation system.”
Maria Cristina De Sanctis, INAF researcher and Principal Investigator of the tiny MA_MISS (Mars Multispectral Imager for Subsurface Studies) spectrometer, explained the key role of the drill produced by Leonardo for the ExoMars mission, due to kick off in 2022. This spectrometer will provide a selection criteria for the samples to be collected in the Martian subsoil, down to a depth of 2 metres, in search of traces of life forms, past or present, not yet exposed to the planet’s atmosphere.