The interplay between ubiquitous dust, ice and gas in space knits an interesting tale from collapsing interstellar clouds to the formation of new stars, planets, moons and comets. Along this path, the formation of complex organic molecules necessary to construct the building blocks of life brings us a step closer to the understanding of the evolution of life. The advancement in the understanding of these vast intricacies of space lies in the development of varied laboratory techniques and astrophysical modelling in close connection with space exploration and astronomical observations. We are living a very exciting time at the interplay between current and future missions/facilities. Return of extra-terrestrial samples is one of the drivers of these missions (e.g. Hayabusa 2, OSIRIS-Rex) together with a more and more detailed exploration of the Solar System planets, moons and other bodies (e.g. Martian rovers ExoMars and Mars 2020, BepiColombo for Mercury, the future JUICE and Europa Clipper missions for Jupiter and its moon Europa). From the astronomical side, new perspectives arise from progress in high angular resolution observations from the optical/infrared (VLT and the coming JWST and ELT) to the sub-mm/mm range (ALMA, NOEMA) to the mid-radio frequencies (SKA) together with a better coverage of the electromagnetic spectrum (e.g. ATHENA for X-rays) and the discovery of new exo-worlds (e.g. PLATO, ARIEL).

The ECLA 2020 conference will provide the opportunity for interdisciplinary exchanges between scientists active in different research fields, which range from astronomy to geology and from chemistry to instrumentation. These interactions will foster collaborations that will result in the better scientific exploitation of missions/facilities in planetology and astronomy in relation to the major questions on our origins.

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