Increasingly complex missions call for innovation in technology and operations. As ESA prepares to explore the lunar surface and beyond, science advisor Dr Aidan Cowley explains how Spaceship EAC unites students and young professionals from across Europe to tackle some of biggest challenges facing the future of human and robotic exploration.

Aidan Cowley examines a large gypsum crystal. ESA–S.Sechi

In episode nine of ESA Explores, we consider how we might overcome some of these challenges to move beyond the International Space Station and low Earth orbit and how students and young researchers are enabling ESA to test early stage concepts.

From your kitchen microwave to the lunar surface, delve deeper with ESA Explores – the official podcast of ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano’s Beyond mission to the International Space Station. All episodes available on Podbean, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Soundcloud and most other popular podcast platforms.

Microwaving simulated Moon dust. ESA-A.Koehler