The challenges of a Planetary exploration mission: The ExoMars Case

Day: FRIDAY 21st October 2022- Time: 14:30 to 17:00 (CEST)

The presentation will explore the peculiarities of one of the most ambitious ESA planetary exploration mission, focusing on the technical challenges that a mission of this kind presents. Furthermore, it will also address the question “As students, are we really aware of complexities of interplanetary space mission?”, together with the difficulties and challenges that characterise the transition from being a student to become an engineer.

Table of Contents

  • What is ESA: introduction
  • ExoMars: Project overview
  • A use case in an interplanetary Project development
  • As students, are we aware of complexities of space systems?
  • My tasks as young graduate trainee: what we really know after university?
  • Opportunity as students/Young professional


Mattia Mercolino obtained his MSc degree and his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. He is currently Principal System Engineer for the ESA ExoMars mission to Mars. His field of applications include: satellite systems, communications, ground segment and operations, precise navigation, radio-science and signal processing. He has taken part in the ESA missions Rosetta, Mars Express, Venus Express, GAIA and BepiColombo and has collaborated with NASA/JPL mission Cassini on Radio-Science experiments.

Francesco Garrone is a former student from Politecnico di Milano, graduated in 2020 in Space Engineering (MSc), with a thesis in Chemical Propulsion. He is currently involved as National Trainee in the ESA ExoMars mission, supporting the System Engineer for what concern system and verification engineering. His background is: spacecraft systems, spacecraft propulsion, system integration and verification. He is at his first professional experience after graduation. He previously took part in several student activities, such as a micro-sat constellation for Earth Observation phase A study, and the development, integration, testing and launch of a microgravity scientific payload at the ZARM drop-tower.

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