About the Author
Enrico Flamini graduated in Physics at Sapienza University of Rome in 1977 and after worked as a researcher at CNR and as ESA Research Fellow at the University of Sussex (UK) on hypervelocity impacts applied to planetary cratering. Since 1985 he had a position at the Italian Space Agency (ASI), with different roles including Director of the Observation of the Universe Department and ASI Chief Scientist. He has been Program Manager for the Italian participation in the Cassini-Huygens, Rosetta-Philae, Mars Express, MRO, Dawn, and Juno missions; Chairman of the lander Philae Steering Committee; Mission Science Director for LARES on the Vega maiden flight; and Hemeritus Principal Investigator of the SIMBIO-SYS experiment on BepiColombo. He has also served as Vice-Chair and Chair of the ESA Science Programme Committee. Presently he is Professor of Solar System Exploration at G. D'Annunzio University, Chieti-Pescara, Italy: Has been awarded with the title of Officer of the National Order of Merit of France and has received the NASA Exceptional Public Service Gold Medal. The International Astronomical Union named an asteroid "18099 Flamini" in recognition of his work in Planetary sciences.Mario Di Martino is an astronomer at the INAF-Astrophysical Observatory of Turin. His principal research field is the physical study of asteroids, and he has conducted hypervelocity impact experiments at national facilities and the NASA-AMES Research Center with the aim of studying the craterization of the solid bodies of the Solar System and of simulating the catastrophic impacts that occur among asteroids in the main belt. More recently, his interests have focused on impact phenomena on Earth and on the systematic observation of bright meteors (bolides) to determine the orbits of meteoroids that cause them and to define with precision the fall area of meteorites possibly delivered by the observed bolide. He has organized several scientific expeditions in North Africa, Australia, South America, and Siberia devoted to the study of and search for impact craters. He has published more than 200 articles in international scientific journals. He is a member of the International Astronomical Union, which dedicated the name "Di Martino" to the asteroid 3247.Alessandro Coletta, received his M.Sci. in Physics at University La Sapienza in Rome. He has been the Operative Scientific Manager of the Italian High Energy Astrophysics Mission BeppoSAX (X-ray and Gamma-ray astronomy) and currently he is the Head of Earth Observation at the Italian Space Agency and the Mission Director of the Italian X-band SAR Satellites Constellation COSMO-SkyMed. He was awarded (co-winner) by the American Astronomical Society with the Bruno Rossi Prize 1998 for the Beppo SAX discovery of the X-ray and optical afterglow of the Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRB) phenomenon, a discovery which made possible the solution of the more than 30 years long-lasting problem of GRB sources distances. He is the author of the first popular book on Gamma-Ray Bursts "Il Secondo Big-Bang" (CUEN, 2000).