NAMM 2018: 3D Printers & Music

We are exploring some of the worlds most beautiful musical instruments in the world.   We are going to use them in a new visual jazz opera called ” The Occupy Mars Learning Adventure.”  This ,musical will includes humanoid robots and the worlds most beautiful instruments.   We invite you view our photo essay.   Questions: Contact composer: Bob Barboza at





Who are the famous astronauts from Italy?

2018 Famous Astronauts from Italy

List of notable or famous astronauts from Italy, with bios and photos, including the top astronauts born in Italy and even some popular astronauts who immigrated to Italy. If you’re trying to find out the names of famous Italian astronauts then this list is the perfect resource for you. These astronauts are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known astronaut from Italy is included when available.

This list has a variety of people in it, from Umberto Guidoni to Lisa Nowak.

This historic astronauts from Italy list can help answer the questions “Who are some Italian astronauts of note?” and “Who are the most famous astronauts from Italy?” These prominent astronauts of Italy may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they’re all respected Italian astronauts.

Use this list of renowned Italian astronauts to discover some new astronauts that you aren’t familiar with. Don’t forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}

Franco Malerba is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Astronauts from Italy
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Franco Egidio Malerba is an Italian astronaut. He was the first citizen of Italy to travel to space. Married to the former Marie-Aude Némo. They have one child. Recreational interests include mountaineering, skiing, and tennis. He is fluent in Italian, English, and French. …more

Age: 70

Birthplace: Genoa, Italy

Profession: Astronaut

see more on Franco Malerba

Lisa Nowak is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Astronauts from Italy
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Lisa Marie Nowak is an American former naval flight officer and NASA astronaut. Born in Washington, D.C., she was selected by NASA in 1996 and qualified as a mission specialist in robotics. Nowak flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery during the STS-121 mission in July 2006, where she was responsible…more

Age: 52

Birthplace: Washington^! D.C., United States of America

Profession: Flight engineer, Astronaut, Engineer

see more on Lisa Nowak

Maurizio Cheli is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Astronauts from Italy
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Maurizio Cheli is an Italian air force officer, a European Space Agency astronaut and a veteran of one NASA space shuttle mission. A native of Modena, Cheli attended the Italian Air Force Academy and trained as a test pilot at the Empire Test Pilots’ School, England, being awarded the McKenna Trophy …more

Age: 56

Birthplace: Modena, Italy

Profession: Astronaut

see more on Maurizio Cheli

Paolo A. Nespoli is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Astronauts from Italy
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Paolo Angelo Nespoli is an Italian astronaut and engineer . In 2007, he first traveled into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery as a mission specialist of STS-120. In December 2010 he again traveled into space aboard the Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft as an Expedition 26/27 flight engineer. …more

Age: 60

Birthplace: Milan, Italy

Profession: Flight engineer, Astronaut

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Richard Mastracchio is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Astronauts from Italy
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Richard Alan “Rick” Mastracchio is an American engineer and a NASA astronaut. He has flown on three NASA Space Shuttle missions as a mission specialist in addition to serving as a Flight Engineer on the Soyuz TMA-11M long duration mission aboard the International Space Station. …more

Age: 57

Birthplace: Waterbury, Connecticut, United States of America

Profession: Astronaut, Engineer

Roberto Vittori is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Astronauts from Italy
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Roberto Vittori is an Italian air force officer and an ESA astronaut. After graduating from the Italian Accademia Aeronautica in 1989, Vittori flew in the Italian Air Force. He then trained as a test pilot in the United States. In 1998, Vittori was selected by the ESA to join the European Astronaut …more

Age: 52

Birthplace: Viterbo, Italy

Profession: Flight engineer, Astronaut

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Samantha Cristoforetti is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Astronauts from Italy
Photo: Freebase/GNU Free Documentation License

Samantha Cristoforetti is an Italian European Space Agency astronaut, Italian Air Force pilot and engineer. She is the first Italian woman in space. On November 23, 2014, Soyuz TMA-15M carrying Cristoforetti and two other astronauts launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. It successfully …more

Age: 38

Birthplace: Milan, Italy

Profession: Astronaut

see more on Samantha Cristoforetti

Umberto Guidoni is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Astronauts from Italy
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Umberto Guidoni is an Italian astrophysicist, science writer and a former ESA astronaut. He is a veteran of two NASA space shuttle missions. He was also a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009. …more

Age: 62

Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Profession: Politician, Researcher, Astronaut

see more on Umberto Guidoni

What is going on with STEM in Italy?

STEM and STEAM – What’s the Difference?

By Anne Jolly


You already know what the acronym, STEM, stands for – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Add an “A” for arts, and the acronym becomes STEAM.

At first, including that “A” generated questions and frequent push-back, since STEAM brings together what we generally think of as polar opposites in the curriculum. But STEAM is part of the picture, and it’s worth taking a comparative look at the two programs.


Both private and public sectors report that U.S. schools are not producing enough graduates with the skills we need to continue leading the world in innovation. Our graduates need more rigorous knowledge of math and science, plus the ability to integrate and apply that knowledge to solve many challenges facing our nation. And they also need a variety of personal attributes and thinking skills.

Our job as K-12 educators is to prepare our students for the world they will enter when they graduate. That’s why STEM programs are being established – to equip students with the specific 21st-century knowledge and skills they need. According to a 2014 study by the America Society for Engineering Education, quality STEM programs need to look like this:

  1. Students actively engaged in solving real-world problems.
  2. Multiple STEM content areas being integrated in meaningful ways.
  3. Inquiry-based and student-centered teaching and learning in progress.
  4. Students using an engineering design process to work toward solutions.
  5. Productive teamwork and communication among students.
  6. Students thinking critically, creatively, and innovatively.

STEM, then, is a specific foundational program designed for a specific purpose – to integrate and apply math, science, and technology to find solutions for real problems, using an engineering design process.


STEAM is picking up steam in many schools and systems, but questions arise: How does including art advance STEM? How can art and STEM truly help each other?

Fine Arts proponents like Ruth Catchen, believe that the arts can serve as an on-ramp to STEM for underrepresented students. She sees arts activities as a way to offer more diverse learning and to increase motivation and the probability of STEM success.  In an article on why we need to put the arts in STEM, author Anna Feldman points to art as a way to spark students’ imagination and apply creative thinking and design skills to these STEM projects. She maintains that arts offer great potential to foster creativity and ways of thinking that can unleash STEM innovation.

Roger Essley, artist, educator, and writer, promotes the use of visual tools to help STEM students grasp and share complex ideas. He points out that for centuries scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and inventors have used visual tools to explain their ideas to others and to clarify their own thinking.

So where does STEAM stand?

Including the “A” in STEM certainly offers promise, but how do we include the arts in STEM in an authentic way?

Here are 3 ways to include the arts in STEM:

  • Design. Art can serve a practical function in STEM. Students can apply art design principles to products they create during a STEM challenge. They can use computer graphics to create logos or stylized designs to include in communications or presentations. Through industrial design, students can improve the appearance, design, and usability of a product. These types of undertakings can also help them gain digital skills and apply technology in authentic ways.


  • Communication. Art (including the language arts), can play an important role in communicating with other students and with a wider community. For example, during STEM lessons students may sketch their ideas to make them clearer to others. They may use technical or persuasive writing or communicate orally. Language arts teachers can play a strong role in helping STEM students gain the collaboration and communication skills they need for the 21st-century marketplace.


  • Creative planning.  As students brainstorm solutions to an engineering problem, they might be more productive if they adopt a playful, inventive, artistic approach. Calling on their artistic right brain can help them to generate creative and innovative thinking. It can also bring added enthusiasm to the project.

To me, art and STEM seem to make good partners. In fact, since art is already a de facto part of STEM, strategically integrating it into a STEM program can be a sensible move. However, STEM education must maintain its clearly defined form and purpose. It should be driven by real engineering problems and integrate supporting science, mathematics and technology skills, processes, and concepts. Arts must not be used simply as a means of enhancing the lesson, but as a true means of contributing to a STEM challenge.

Additional Side Comments:

The Future STEAM maybe STEAM++

STEAM++ (science, technology, engineering, visual and performing arts, mathematics, computer languages and foreign languages) are being practiced at the Barboza Space Center in a series of summer STEAM++ fellowship programs.   This action research fellowship/workshop series is part of the Occupy Mars Learning Adventures project-based learning series going on in California.  The STEAM++ program was necessary for teachers to work with robots and international students using distance learning.  Bob Barboza has been leading a team of international educators in this approach.

Can Robots Cook Italian Food On Mars?

Should I take Pepper the Humanoid Robot with me to Mars?

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The robot Pepper standing in a retail environment

Manufacturer Aldebaran Robotics (now SoftBank Robotics)
Country France
Year of creation 2014 prototype
Type Humanoid
Purpose Technology demonstrator

Pepper is a humanoid robot by French robotics company Aldebaran Robotics, which is owned by SoftBank, designed with the ability to read emotions. It was introduced in a conference on 5 June 2014, and was showcased in Softbank mobile phone stores in Japan beginning the next day.[1][2] It was scheduled to be available in February 2015 at a base price of JPY 198,000 ($1,931) at Softbank Mobile stores.[3] Pepper’s emotion comes from the ability to analyze expressions and voice tones. In Japan there is also a monthly fee of $360 that has to be paid over 3 years.

Pepper was launched in the UK in 2016 and there are currently two versions available.


Pepper in AkihabaraJapan, 2014.

The robot’s head has four microphones, two HD cameras (in the mouth and forehead), and a 3-D depth sensor (behind the eyes). There is a gyroscope in the torso and touch sensors in the head and hands. The mobile base has two sonars, six lasers, three bumper sensors, and a gyroscope.[4]

It is able to run the existing content in the app store designed for Aldebaran’s other robot, Nao.[5]


Pepper is not a functional robot for domestic use. Instead, Pepper is intended “to make people happy”, enhance people’s lives, facilitate relationships, have fun with people and connect people with the outside world.[6] Pepper’s creators hope that independent developers will create new content and uses for Pepper.[7]

Pepper is currently being used as a receptionist at several offices in the UK and is able to identify visitors with the use of facial recognition, send alerts for meeting organisers and arrange for drinks to be made. Pepper is said to be able to chat to prospective clients.

The robot has also been employed at banks and medical facilities in Japan, using applications created by Seikatsu Kakumei.[8][9][10]


Pepper is available as a research robot for schools, colleges and universities to teach programming and conduct research into human-robot interactions. In the United Kingdom, it is available through Rapid Electronics Limited for this purpose.

An Android SDK will be available in 2017.


Pepper in a Darty shop in France at La Défense, 2016.

  • Height: 1.20 metres (4 ft)
  • Depth: 425 millimetres (17 in)
  • Width: 485 millimetres (19 in)
Weight 28 kilograms (62 lb)
Battery Lithium-ion battery
Capacity: 30.0Ah/795Wh
Operation time: approx. 12hrs (when used at shop)
Display 10.1-inch touch display
Head Mic x 4, RGB camera x 2,3D sensor x 1, Touch sensor x 3
Chest Gyro sensor x 1
Hands Touch sensor x 2
Legs Sonar sensor x 2, Laser sensor x 6, Bumper sensor x 3, Gyro sensor x 1
Moving parts Degrees of motion
Head (2°), Shoulder (2° L&R), Elbow (2 rotations L&R), Wrist (1° L&R), Hand with 5 fingers (1° L&R), Hip (2°), Knee (1°), Base (3°)
20 Motors
Platform NAOqi OS
Networking Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz)
Ethernet x1 (10/100/1000 base T)
Motion speed Up to 3 kilometres per hour (2 mph)
Climbing Up to 1.5 centimetres (0.6 in)


Composers and Writers Wanted

We are looking to work with musicians, artists and composers.  We are performing jazz, classical and World music for the visual jazz opera, “The Occupy Mars Learning Adventures.”  Contact:

Who wants to write music for Native American Flutes?

The Occupy Mars Band is getting ready to perform original compositions at museums and art galleries.  All concerts will be in California in 2018.  Our workshops will included teacher students how to write music and spoken word for the Occupy Mars Learning Adventures Projects.   We will post concert and workshop dares at this website and

We invite you to view our new photo essay including our chimes and Native American flute collection.

Our flutes are in the following keys:  F sharp, G, C sharp, D  and E

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High School Students Wanted for Mars Lander Project

Get Involved in Mars Society “Red Eagle” Student Contest to Design Mars Lander

Students and from the Barboza Space Center will support other teams that want to try for this new international competition.  Write your letter for possible collaboration and send it to Barboza Space Center (  Attention Bob Barboza.


What do I need to do to get started?

The Mars Society recently announced plans for an international student engineering contest to design a lander capable of delivering a ten metric ton payload safely to the surface of Mars. The competition is open to student teams from around the world. Participants are free to choose any technology to accomplish the proposed mission and need to submit design reports of no more than 50 pages by March 31, 2018.

These contest reports will be evaluated by a panel of judges and will serve as the basis for a down-select to ten finalists who will be invited to present their work in person at the next International Mars Society Convention in September 2018. The first place winning team will receive a trophy and a $10,000 cash prize. Second through fifth place winners will receive trophies and prizes of $5,000, 3,000, $2000, and $1,000 respectively. In honor of the first craft used to deliver astronauts to another world, the contest is being named “Red Eagle.”


The key missing capability required to send human expeditions to Mars is the ability to land large payloads on the Red Planet. The largest capacity demonstrated landing system is that used by Curiosity, which delivered 1 ton. That is not enough to support human expeditions, whose minimal requirement is a ten ton landing capacity. NASA has identified this as a key obstacle to human missions to Mars, but has no program to develop any such lander. SpaceX had a program, called Red Dragon, which might have created a comparable capability, but it was cancelled when NASA showed no interest in using such a system to soft land crews returning to Earth from the ISS or other near-term missions.

In the absence of such a capability, NASA has been reduced to proposing irrelevant projects, such as building a space station in lunar orbit (not needed for either lunar or Mars expeditions), or claim that it is working on the technology for large visionary interplanetary spaceships which will someday sail from lunar orbit to Mars orbit and back, accomplishing nothing.

For full details about the Red Eagle student engineering contest, including team rules, guidelines and requirements, please click here.



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