Francesco Sauro is an Italian explorer and speleologist, recognized by Time Magazine as one of the ten millennial that are having an impact in the future of science and planetary exploration.
He is contracted Professor of Planetary Geology at the University of Bologna, with a peculiar interest in caves and subsurface exploration. With over twenty year of caving activity, Sauro has explored tens of kilometers of caves in any different lithology on Earth, including ice. He has lead over thirty expeditions in several countries among which: Greenland, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Philippines, India, Uzbekistan, France, Spain, Poland, Greece. In these explorations he has performed more than 70 km of new cave surveys and has descended some of the most challenging abysses on Earth.
About thirty papers about his researches and explorations have been published in peer reviewed scientific magazines and in proceedings of national and international congresses. In 2014 he won the Rolex Award for Enterprise with an exploration project in the Guyana highlands of South America.
Since 2015 he has been selected as technical director of the course CAVES and PANGAEA organized by the European Space Agency for training astronauts for operational and human behavior purposes in difficult environments. He has been leading exploration trainings for astronauts from ESA, NASA, JAXA, RUSCOSMOS and CSA.