Europlanet Science Congress 2022
Palacio de Congresos de Granada, Spain
18 – 23 September 2022
Europlanet Science Congress 2022
Palacio de Congresos de Granada, Spain
18 September – 23 September 2022
Europlanet for Emerging Space Countries


Europlanet for Emerging Space Countries
Convener: Barbara Cavalazzi | Co-conveners: Anita Heward, Valentina Marcheselli, Nigel Mason, Susmita Datta, Gareth Davies, Nicolas Walter, Jonas L'Haridon, Fulvio Franchi, Miruts Hagos, Fernando Gomez, K. Yi, Hye Jung Chang, Kyeong Kim, Yang Liu
| Mon, 19 Sep, 15:30–17:00 (CEST)|Room Andalucia 1
| Attendance Mon, 19 Sep, 18:45–20:15 (CEST) | Display Mon, 19 Sep, 08:30–Wed, 21 Sep, 11:00|Poster area Level 2

Session assets

Discussion on Slack

Orals: Mon, 19 Sep | Room Andalucia 1

Chairpersons: Barbara Cavalazzi, Fulvio Franchi, Anita Heward
Barbara Cavalazzi, Anita Heward, Nigel Mason, Susmita Datta, Gareth R. Davis, Nicholas Walter, Jonas L'Haridon, Fulvio Franchi, Miruts Hagos, Fernando Gomez, Keewook Yi, Hyejung Chang, Kyeong Ja Kim, and Yang Liu

Since its foundation in 2005, Europlanet has sought to reach out and engage with planetary scientists across the globe. Today, Europlanet has a global role to connect the international planetary community through the common aim of working together to explore and understand our Solar System and exoplanetary systems beyond. It is therefore both timely and necessary to put in place a framework for a community-led roadmap for global collaboration as part of Europlanet’s future development as both a Research Infrastructure and as a Society.

The Strategic Plan for Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure’s Global Collaboration andIntegration Development that represents the outcome of a dedicated effort to define how to expand and intensify the new relationship between Europlanet and African, but also between Europlanet and North and South American and Asian collaborators, will be presented.



Europlanet 2024 RI has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871149.

How to cite: Cavalazzi, B., Heward, A., Mason, N., Datta, S., Davis, G. R., Walter, N., L'Haridon, J., Franchi, F., Hagos, M., Gomez, F., Yi, K., Chang, H., Kim, K. J., and Liu, Y.: EPN24, Global Collaboration and IntegrationDevelopment: Strategic Plan 2020–2024, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, 18–23 Sep 2022, EPSC2022-1207,, 2022.

Sohan Jheeta

Currently there are low levels of access to high quality education and learning facilities in certain developing nations, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, at best, some university facilities there are barely comparable to western high school levels and, at worse, they don’t even have modern laboratory equipment; the basics that they do have being relics from the 1960’s and 70’s. In addition, I know of at least one secondary school in Malawi where there are two “sittings” —a morning session for one set of pupils and an afternoon for the second. Both with the same teachers. That is to say, there is both the lack of qualified teachers and they cannot afford to expand the school. During the last six years I myself have been promoting science throughout parts of the developing world, principally through astronomy because this is one science which is common to humanity.

I have given numerous oral presentations on space in general, astrochemistry, astrobiology and astrophysics as well as helping to promote an interest in these subjects by holding specific workshops. Until now, I have been operating as a “one-man band” and the challenge is to encourage students to become involved and active in astronomy, astrophysics, astrochemistry and astrobiology (the astroscience) and then to support them should they wish to progress further and take up a career in these fields. There are many difficulties to overcome, including lack of awareness and inclusion with the wider world, as well as a severe lack of funding. The many talented and able students who could become assets in the field of astronomy are missing out and if only they had the opportunity, they could really develop their capabilities and become excellent researchers and astronomers. In order to even stand a chance of making this happen, we need liaison with European established organisations that can deliver both expertise, funding and definitive, quantifiable schemes which will raise the expectations of these students as well as the universities. The ultimate goal is to put astronomy on the curriculum. The interest I have so far been able to generate amongst students is intense and I have been inspired by their enthusiasm, so the time is now right to develop and widen these activities in a more organised and proactive manner and this is where NoRCEL comes into force.

How to cite: Jheeta, S.: NoRCEL and its Outreach in Sub Saharan Africa, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, 18–23 Sep 2022, EPSC2022-157,, 2022.

Fulvio Franchi and the PanAfrican Planetary and Space Science Network - PAPSSN Team

Planetary and Space Science and Technology (PSST) has been identified as a key area of investment in Africa as it provides graduates and young scientists with both the necessary soft and practical skills to face 21stCentury challenges, such as digital innovation. PSST for Africa means not only blue-sky research and skilled graduates in STEM disciplines but is intricately linked to socio-economic development. Many countries have already seen the benefits arising from PSST technology and industry for agricultural projects (SDG 2 - Zero Hunger), earth observation, communication networks, monitoring/prevention of disaster and geohazards (SDG 13 - Climate Action), space defence and telemedicine amongst others. It has been demonstrated that developments in PSST help the scientific community to address trans-boundary issues related to developmental and environmental problems, such as water management, and can consolidate international relationships, promote collaborations and optimize the use of limited funds. PSST is bound to create in Africa highly skilled jobs that are needed for socio-economic development on a continent that is rapidly embracing the 4thindustrial revolution.

Moreover, PSST has the potential to inspire young Africans and attract them towards STEM higher education programmes. PSST can excite the imagination of the public and stimulate the interest of young and old alike, especially when combining cutting edge discoveries with traditional knowledge.

During the 26thOrdinary Session of the African Union (AU), when the Head of States adopted the African Space Policy and Strategy as the first concrete step to realize an African Outer Space Programme. Finally, in 2019, at the 32ndordinary session of the assembly of the AU, Egypt was officially endorsed as the host of the headquarters of the AU African Space Agency, to be established in 2023.

A crucial step toward the achievement of the African space agenda and the creation of an African Space Agency is the modernization of the African Higher Education Institutes, including reskilling/upskilling of both support and academic staff. Existing projects, such as PAPSSN and DARA, present an innovative solution to this shortage of soft skills as they promote mobility for students in the area of remote sensing from space, planetary science, planetary geology, astronomy and astrophysics, within the tertiary education system across the continent.

A further, and crucial, step is to consolidate African (south-south) partnerships fuelling the growth of existing, excelling and promising teams already working towards the process of Africanizationof the quest to space exploration and promoting the creation of an African infrastructure for PSST.This has the potential of reducing isolation of African Higher Education Institutesand improve their international strategies by broadening the network to include other partners in the target countries including EU (as initiated by PAPSSN and Europlanet 2024 RI).

One way of achieving this ambitious goal is the creation of a Centre of Excellence in Planetary Space Science and Technology supported by a Pan African Planetary and Space Science Society that would do for Africa what Europlanet did for Europe: consolidate the community and expand the horizons of PSST research capitalizing on existing excellences and best practice.

How to cite: Franchi, F. and the PanAfrican Planetary and Space Science Network - PAPSSN Team: A Centre of Excellence in Planetary Space Science and Technology in Africa, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, 18–23 Sep 2022, EPSC2022-177,, 2022.

Hasnaa Chennaoui, Soukaina Arif, Fatima Ezzahra Jadid, El Mehdi El Hachemi, Larbi Zennouri, Ely Cheikh Ould Mohamed Navie, Samira Makhoukhi, Omar Berrada, Mohamed Aoudjehane, and Nawal Bouya

ATTARIK Foundation an NGO dedicated to Meteoritics and Planetary Science promotion in Morocco, Africa, and Arab countries

  • Chennaoui Aoudjehane1,2, S. Arif1,2, F.Z Jadid1,2 E. El Hachemi1,2, L. Zennouri1,2, S. Makhoukhi1,2, E. Ould Mohamed Naviee, O. Berrada2,3, M. Aoudjehane2,4 and N. Bouya2, 1GAIA Laboratory, Hassan II University of Casablanca, Faculty of Science Ain Chock, Morocco (, 2ATTARIK Foundation for Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 3Yasmine Signature, 4Agrokit Morocco


Since 1999 first meteorite recoveries in Morocco, meteorites from our country became more and more important in number and scientific input in the planetary scientists' community. Our team in the Hassan II University of Casablanca Faculty of Science Ain Chock begin working on meteorites in 2011 introducing this topic to Moroccan universities and Moroccan society. Valuable scientific research and publications were conducted including Ph.D. thesis defenses. It was oriented first on Martian meteorites, then to all meteorite classes, then to impact cratering research. Now we are also going for planetary surfaces studies.  

In 2019, ATTARIK Foundation for Meteoritics and Planetary Science was created by our team and a group of passionate people. It is the result of the long experience in this research in Morocco. The aim of ATTARIK is to improve the research on Planetary Sciences, disseminate sciences through youth, promote Moroccan geoheritage, and develop Moroccan territories through geotourism and astrotourism. The Africa Initiative for Planetary and Space Science was launched in 2016 in Cape Town and has similar objectives.

ATTARIK Foundation become a reference in Morocco, it organized a great number of activities during its three years of existence. Among these activities are lecturing to children, youths, and the general public, and workshops on discovering meteorites and how to differentiate terrestrial and extraterrestrial rocks. We also supported much scientific research of the Ph.D. students with financial support. Geotourism circuits were also prepared in two different regions of Morocco (Tizi N’oucheg, Ait Ben Haddou, and Skoura). The most important achievement of ATTARIK this year was the organization and launching of the first and unique exhibit-museum of meteorites in Morocco. This ephemera museum contains the freshest Moroccan meteorite falls samples, the solar system, impact craters, dinosaurs, and space missions. It was initially designed for two months (July and August 2021) in an important commercial mall in Casablanca (AnfaPlace Mall). This activity had great success, and the Mall administration allowed the Foundation to extend the exhibit to the end of June 2022 making it open for one complete year.

The Moroccan experience can be a good reference to the development of planetary sciences in Africa and the Arab countries. ATTARIK Foundation aims to extend actions organized in Morocco to other countries in Africa and the MENA region.

How to cite: Chennaoui, H., Arif, S., Jadid, F. E., El Hachemi, E. M., Zennouri, L., Ould Mohamed Navie, E. C., Makhoukhi, S., Berrada, O., Aoudjehane, M., and Bouya, N.: ATTARIK Foundation an NGO dedicated to Meteoritics and Planetary Science promotion in Morocco, Africa and Arab countries, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, 18–23 Sep 2022, EPSC2022-1174,, 2022.

Raphael de Assis Peralta and Diane Berard

From March 16th to 26th 2022, for the first time in Togo, we organized an astronomy outreach event: “Togo under the stars”. This event is the result of a collaboration between the French association SpaceBus France and the Togolese association SG2D (Science Géologique pour un Développement Durable). 

During two weeks, four French astronomers and six Togolese geologists traveled the country to reach a wide public. We visited schools, villages, and public squares and gave astronomy workshops in six cities: Kara, Sokodé, Atakpamé, Kpalimé, Aného and Lomé. 

At each occasion, we proposed activities created by SpaceBus France, designed to be fun and interactive. These activities include a presentation of the Solar system using a scaled 3D printed model, a hands-on exercise on meteorites with different kinds of meteorites and terrestrial rocks to recognize them, an introduction to space travel and rocket science using lego models, and observations of both the Sun and the night sky using several telescopes. 

In Lomé, we also provided an astronomy training for teachers of all levels, giving them educational tools and teaching resources developed by research institutions such as Europlanet Society, Paris Observatory, CNES, ESA, etc. These free resources and available on the internet can easily used to teach astronomy in classroom.

Togo under the stars has been a great success, reaching over 10.000 Togolese in total, with extremely positive feedback. This project, which was possible thanks to financial support from Europlanet, thus allowed the Togolese to have their first major astronomy outreach event. It offered a unique opportunity for the students to meet and exchange with astrophysicists and geologists, while the interaction with teachers insured a long-lasting impact on future generations.

More information :

How to cite: de Assis Peralta, R. and Berard, D.: Togo under the stars: a science outreach tour for the Togolese, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, 18–23 Sep 2022, EPSC2022-1177,, 2022.

Prospery C. Simpemba, Alvert Ng'andu, Patrick Sibanda, Faustin Banda, and Fred Joe Nambala

The peaceful uses of outer space has, since many years back, provided a powerful tool for furthering the well-being of humanity and the earth’s environment.  Modern space applications are fundamental tools for achieving the United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals. It is therefore justifiable that a land-linked country Zambia should, as a matter of principle, begin to put resources together to develop her capabilities in space science and technology, build capacity and apply the technology for social and economic development of her people. In this paper we discuss the steps taken by the Zambian Government to roll out a space programme. On parallel sides, public universities, namely the University of Zambia, the Copperbelt University, Kwame Nkrumah University and Mulungushi University have started developing study programmes that will produce the required human resource for this robust programme.

How to cite: Simpemba, P. C., Ng'andu, A., Sibanda, P., Banda, F., and Nambala, F. J.: Venturing into Space Science, a case of Zambia, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, 18–23 Sep 2022, EPSC2022-1185,, 2022.

Fernando Gomez, Giovanni Leone, Juan Manuel Losarcos, and Florencia Anahi Santillan

Planetary Geology and Astrobiology focused research have significantly grown in the last decades, where the US, European countries and China have been leading the path through NASAESA and CNSA space programs. This research has been more limited in South America, sometimes due to the lack of an explicit space program or where this program exists but developed at a smaller scale or focused on different goals. In spite of this, a growing number of scientists has been actively conducting research, directly or indirectly, related to these topics. Here is a brief and clearly biased and non-exhaustive summary shows how diverse this research is, taking some examples in Argentina and other countries such as Chile and Brazil, but being aware that other countries such as Colombia and Mexico also have a growing Planetary Geology and Astrobiology community. 

Structural geology, geomorphology and tectonics in our planet is a matter of intense research in Argentina, particularly in the Andean region. Similar studies in other planetary bodies such as Mars, on the other hand, are more limited. In spite of this, it is worth mentioning the research conducted by Dr. Mauro Spagnuolo and colleagues of the IDEAN (Instituto de Estudios Andinos Pablo Groeber, Buenos Aires, Argentina, This group has been actively collaborating and working on topics such as planetary mapping, geomorphology, structural geology and sedimentary processes of Mars and Titan surface. 

The question of the possibility of life on other planets brings the need to be able to recognize extinct or extant life, particularly in the sedimentary record. The approach is to study how life develops in a diversity of environments, typically extreme environments, to understand how the signals of life are preserved in the sedimentary record (biosignatures). The study of microbial activity and their biosignatures has been the focus of research of Dr. Fernando Gomez and colleagues ( from the CICTERRA (Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Tierra) and Dr. Douglas Galante ( and Amanda Bendía ( from the University of São Paulo (Brazil) by using a combination of sedimentolgical, biogeochemical and microbiological tools in order to explore the limits of life and its sedimentary record.  

Dr. Pamela Such is a geologist from Argentina, and currently a SETI Institute research affiliate ( who works mainly in developing the techniques and instrumentation necessary for the exploration of space resources. For example she collaborated with Dr. Pablo Sobron (SETI/NASA; Impossible Sensing Founder), testing LIBS laser and Raman instruments in environments of high UV and altitude and deficient oxygen levels in the Andes and with Dr. Mike Daly, OLA Instrument, OSIRIS-REx mission. She also has recently participated in the simulated mission to Mars, AMADEE 18, in the Oman desert. She has also recently led a project and research to study the feasibility of exposure and survival of Quinoa seeds to extra-planetary conditions to explore the development of crops during missions to the Moon and Mars.  

The mineralogy and cosmochemistry of meteorites and its relevance to understand the formation of our Solar System has been the focus of intense research by Maria Eugenia Varela and colleagues of the ICATE (Instituto de Ciencias Astronómicas, de la Tierra y el Espacio) ( In addition Dr. Varela is a member of the Argentinian Research Unit in Astrobiology ( where some scientists also explore the possibility of life in other planetary bodies. Another approach to meteorites and other space bodies has been developed by Dr Daniel Acevedo CADIC (Ushuaia, Argentina) and colleagues, by studying the numerous impact craters in Argentina and South America. For example,  it is well known for their research in the Bajada del Cielo impact field in Chubut, southern Argentina.  This research has been published in numerous papers and summarized in a really interesting book titled Impact Craters in South America ( 

Dr. Giovanni Leone is an Italian geophysicist and volcanologist from the Atacama University, Chile ( His research includes Planetary Simulants, using  the basaltic rocks from Atacama desert as a Moon and Mars geochemical analogues for testing rovers and carrying on experiments for future planetary settlements; Space Biomining, exploring the role of bacteria in low-water environments for the extraction of useful minerals (i.e. rare earth elements, copper, etc.); and Muography, the use of muons naturally produced by the interactions between galactic cosmic rays and atmosphere, for example, for the imaging of the internal structure of volcanoes. It is also worth mentioning his recent research on Mars surface and interior by combining geophysical and modelling techniques, as well as availability of important resources like water, and the studies about meteorites found in the Atacama Desert by Dr. Millarca Valenzuela ( 

Aside from the purely scientific approach to planetary geology, it worth to mention the activities developed by that SpaceBee Technologies (, and its diverse team of  geologists and engineers from Cuba and Argentina ( This includes the development of a low-cost lunar rover named RoverTito, designed to contribute to the exploration of the Moon and to explore its potential for human habitability and for making the space accessible for future generations. Understanding the lunar regolith, the detection of structures such as lava tunnels or the distribution of solid water (ice) by using a set of geophysical techniques is between the goals of the SpaceBee Technologies project. 

All these interesting efforts and contributions in planetary geology have been catalyzed by the individual and/or collective interest of some researchers and technology-focused teams, being the driving force of the curiosity for space exploration. Clearly, joining efforts into a more organized and better funded program where different institutions along South America can collaborate would  increase the potential and collaborative research of all these researchers and engineers. This calls attention to the need to create the space for this discussion to take place and where people can share these activities and experiences and this may help to set the lines for a future planetary space program in South America. 

How to cite: Gomez, F., Leone, G., Losarcos, J. M., and Santillan, F. A.: Planetary Geology and Astrobiology research in South America, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, 18–23 Sep 2022, EPSC2022-1246,, 2022.

Sohan Jheeta

Nowadays, it is universally accepted that the exodus of the peoples from the African continent all those millenia ago gave the rest of the world our populations; it is a historical fact that it is they are the ones who migrated across the globe in the great human diasporas. It is a pitiful shame that the very same continent which spawned the original trailblazing migrations is hit by a double whammy. First, the descendants of those earliest peoples invaded Africa continent to enslave, pillage and plunder which ostensibly caused a halt in the advancement of Africa as a global contender and resulted in an apparent lack of comparable education for the surviving local populace; this is still all too obvious across the African continent. Second, it is largely the actions of the developed nations which brought about the climate change which is now having a profound effect on the African continent. My presentation will focus on the outcomes from NoRCEL’s recent Blue Earth Project (BEP2022) interactive event which illustrates the relevance of the need for a more improved level of climate change education in Africa. 

How to cite: Jheeta, S.: Climate Change and Education on the Africa Continent, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, 18–23 Sep 2022, EPSC2022-289,, 2022.

Livia Mercatelli

Funds are a key-factor to boost research capacity and development at institutional as well as individual level. As universities in emerging countries seek to expand their academic activities in the fields of education and research, the pressure to have financial resources constantly available is obviously intensifying. Back in 2015 in Dakar, at the African Higher Education Summit “Revitalizing Higher Education for Africa’s Future”, the African Union highlighted funding as one of the top five higher education priorities.

If mainstream resources and government funds are often deemed as insufficient, it is also true that many external donors - in the framework of their mission and policies - are investing in higher education development to support institutions and individuals through different funding schemes. Within the Africa-EU Partnership supported by the European Union and the African Union, for instance, higher education cooperation is pivotal for the cooperation goals of the Partnership. Indeed, the new EU-funded Erasmus+ programme has known a four-fold increase of budget allocation to external actions in Sub-Saharan Africa region, covering for the period 2021-2027 the 26% of budget dedicated to the international dimension of the programme. The programme will provide opportunities for collaborative partnerships of HEIs to innovate and modernise education and develop capacities but also for individual academic mobility.

Erasmus+ is one example, among others available, of an external opportunity to attract resources to African academic community which is not always aware this and other funding opportunities exist. The presentation will provide an overview of opportunities available under the Erasmus+ programme and beyond meant for collaborative projects and individual development.

How to cite: Mercatelli, L.: Fundraising for HEIs and scholars in Africa. The case of the Erasmus+ programme and other examples of funding opportunities, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, 18–23 Sep 2022, EPSC2022-1243,, 2022.

Display time: Mon, 19 Sep 08:30–Wed, 21 Sep 11:00

Posters: Mon, 19 Sep, 18:45–20:15 | Poster area Level 2

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