Asteroid Day Affiliation:
Marco Tantardini is an engineer, scientist, entrepreneur and pioneer. He holds a BSc in Aerospace Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, and received a MSc in Space Engineering from the Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, studying his MSc thesis in Applied Mathematics and Astrodynamics at Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Before graduating he worked as assistant to the Executive Director at The Planetary Society in Pasadena, the world’s largest and most influential public space organisation group, and he was also visiting scientist at the Mission Design Center of the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View. In 2010 Marco built the strategy and the core of the team that led to the Asteroid Retrieval Mission (ARM) study at the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) at Caltech in Pasadena, and in 2011‐2012 he promoted this project to aerospace leaders and governments. In 2011-2012 Marco also acted as the ESA contact point for the KISS’ ARM study, reporting to the ESA HQ in Paris. In spring 2013 the White House and the NASA HQ backed ARM (renamed Asteroid Redirect Mission) as the new strategy for America’s human space exploration, recognising Marco’s key role in it. Marco was featured on the May 2014 issue of Popular Science (http://www.popsci.com/article/science/how-were-finding-asteroids-they-find-us). He is an Associate at the Italian Space Agency (ASI), working as the ASI contact point for the Italian participation in the NASA’s ARM Program. He is also member of the organizing committee and co-chair of session Mission and Campaign Design and Execution of the IAA Planetary Defense Conference.