The Occupy Mars Learning Adventure

Training Jr. Astronauts, Scientists & Engineers

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Flying Drones At the Barboza Space Center

The FAA has rules and specific policies that we must follow at all time.  Flying drones is serious business.  Our Jr. commercial astronaut programs are training high school students ages 16 and older to fly drones under restricted conditions.  We have three licensed pilots on our advisory teams.   We are practicing on Earth to learn how to fly drones on Mars.   Our goals included conducting science experiments on Earth to simulate conditions on Mars. and E-mail:

FAA News
Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, DC 20591


June 21, 2016


Operational Limitations

  • Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs. (25 kg).
  • Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only; the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the remote pilot in command and the

    person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS. Alternatively, the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the visual observer.

  • At all times the small unmanned aircraft must remain close enough to the remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS for those people to be capable of seeing the aircraft with vision unaided by any device other than corrective lenses.
  • Small unmanned aircraft may not operate over any persons not directly participating in the operation, not under a covered structure, and not inside a covered stationary vehicle.
  • Daylight-only operations, or civil twilight (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time) with appropriate anti-collision lighting.
  • Must yield right of way to other aircraft.
  • May use visual observer (VO) but not required.
  • First-person view camera cannot satisfy “see-and-avoid”

    requirement but can be used as long as requirement is

    satisfied in other ways.

  • Maximum groundspeed of 100 mph (87 knots).
  • Maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if

    higher than 400 feet AGL, remain within 400 feet of a


  • Minimum weather visibility of 3 miles from control station.
  • Operations in Class B, C, D and E airspace are allowed with

    the required ATC permission.

  • Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without ATC


  • No person may act as a remote pilot in command or VO for

    more than one unmanned aircraft operation at one time.

  • No operations from a moving aircraft.
  • No operations from a moving vehicle unless the operation is

    over a sparsely populated area.

  • No careless or reckless operations.
  • No carriage of hazardous materials.
  • Requires preflight inspection by the remote pilot in command.
  • A person may not operate a small unmanned aircraft if he or she knows or has reason to know of any physical or mental condition that would interfere with the safe operation of a small UAS.
  • Foreign-registered small unmanned aircraft are allowed to operate under part 107 if they satisfy the requirements of part 375.
  • External load operations are allowed if the object being carried by the unmanned aircraft is securely attached and does not adversely affect the flight characteristics or controllability of the aircraft.
  • Transportation of property for compensation or hire allowed provided that-

    o The aircraft, including its attached systems, payload and cargo weigh less than 55 pounds total;

    o The flight is conducted within visual line of sight and not from a moving vehicle or aircraft; and

    o The flight occurs wholly within the bounds of a State and does not involve transport between (1) Hawaii and another place in Hawaii through airspace outside Hawaii; (2) the District of Columbia and another place in the District of Columbia; or (3) a territory or possession of the United States and another place in the same territory or possession.

  • Most of the restrictions discussed above are waivable if the applicant demonstrates that his or her operation can safely be conducted under the terms of a certificate of waiver.

Remote Pilot in Command Certification and Responsibilities

  • Establishes a remote pilot in command position.
  • A person operating a small UAS must either hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under

    the direct supervision of a person who does hold a remote

    pilot certificate (remote pilot in command).

  • To qualify for a remote pilot certificate, a person must:

    o Demonstrate aeronautical knowledge by either:
     Passing an initial aeronautical knowledge test at

    an FAA-approved knowledge testing center; or
     Hold a part 61 pilot certificate other than student pilot, complete a flight review within the previous

    24 months, and complete a small UAS online

    training course provided by the FAA.
    o Be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration.o Be at least 16 years old.

  • Part 61 pilot certificate holders may obtain a temporary remote pilot certificate immediately upon submission of their application for a permanent certificate. Other applicants will obtain a temporary remote pilot certificate upon successful completion of TSA security vetting. The FAA anticipates that it will be able to issue a temporary remote pilot certificate within 10 business days after receiving a completed remote pilot certificate application.
  • Until international standards are developed, foreign-

certificated UAS pilots will be required to obtain an FAA- issued remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating.

A remote pilot in command must:

  • Make available to the FAA, upon request, the small UAS for

    inspection or testing, and any associated documents/records

    required to be kept under the rule.

  • Report to the FAA within 10 days of any operation that

    results in at least serious injury, loss of consciousness, or

    property damage of at least $500.

  • Conduct a preflight inspection, to include specific aircraft

    and control station systems checks, to ensure the small UAS

    is in a condition for safe operation.

  • Ensure that the small unmanned aircraft complies with the

    existing registration requirements specified in

    § 91.203(a)(2).
    A remote pilot in command may deviate from the requirements of this rule in response to an in-flight emergency.

Aircraft Requirements

• FAA airworthiness certification is not required. However, the remote pilot in command must conduct a preflight check of the small UAS to ensure that it is in a condition for safe operation.

Model Aircraft

  • Part 107 does not apply to model aircraft that satisfy all of the criteria specified in section 336 of Public Law 112-95.
  • The rule codifies the FAA’s enforcement authority in part 101 by prohibiting model aircraft operators from endangering the safety of the NAS.


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Getting Ready To Play Music on Mars

The Physics of Electronic Music: A Photo Essay By Bob Barboza

Music and science come together for the new visual jazz opera about the planet Mars.

Bob Barboza is selecting instruments for the “Occupy Mars Band Concert” in the USA.  He went to the NAMM Show in southern California to talk with musicians and instrument designers from around the world.   Some of the musicians will appear as soloists for Bob’s new visual jazz opera on the topics of  Mars and are we alone in the universe.  We continue to search for original compositions and writers on the topics of deep space and Mars.   For more information contact



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The Occupy Mars Band Research Department

Music and science come together for the new visual jazz opera about the planet Mars.

Bob Barboza is selecting instruments for the “Occupy Mars Band Concert” in the USA.  He went to their NAMM Show in California to talk with musicians from around the world.   So of the musicians will appear as soloists for Bob’s visual jazz opera on the topic of  Mars.   For more information contact

Photos were taken by Bob Barboza.



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Jr. Medical School: Space Medicine

What medicines would we pack for a trip to Mars?

Humans didn’t evolve to deal with the unique conditions of space travel. Bluedharma/Flickr, CC BY-ND

Mars garnered a bunch of headlines early this week, as NASA revealed it had discovered water on the red planet. And it’s likely to linger in the public mind a little longer as reviews of the latest sci-fi blockbuster based on the planet appear with the film’s national opening today.

The Andy Weir novel on which the new sci-fi movie The Martian is based has been lauded for its scientific accuracy. And expert reviews are now explaining what’s science fact and what’s still science fiction in the film.

Both the book and the film cover broad scientific ground, dealing with aspects of botany, chemistry, physics, geology, and engineering. But other than some quick self-surgery at the start, the medical aspects of survival on Mars and the long trip to and from the red planet are not touched on.

Astronaut health

The human body didn’t evolve to deal with the unique conditions of space travel. Astronauts experience a wide range of health problems, including short-term ones, such as stress on the body due to the high g-forces of launches, and motion sickness as they adapt to the weightless environment.

The International Space Station has given us an enormous amount of information on the long-term health effects of space. Astronauts who spend significant amounts of time in space experience loss of bone density, and a weakening of the muscles, due to the lack of gravity and the exertion it places on the body.

The lack of regular days and nights can also make it difficult for astronauts to sleep. And, more recently, we have found that long-term space flight also causes significant cardiovascular problems. Astronauts experience slower and less regular beats of their heart as it fights to push blood around the body in zero gravity.

The World Health Organization maintains a model list of essential medicines that it says are needed for basic health care. But there are more than 380 drugs on the combined core and complementary list, and it would be impractical to take all of them into space, especially as most of them wouldn’t be needed.

In many ways, the ISS has prepared us for human expeditions to Mars. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center/Flickr, CC BY-NC

While there’s a chance astronauts could develop cancer when in space, for instance, the risk isn’t high enough to justify the cost of including chemotherapy drugs. Taking vaccines along may also not be worthwhile, especially, as astronauts are unlikely to pick up new infectious diseases in space.

As we’ve learnt more about space flight, the number and types of medications available to astronauts has changed. In the first space missions of the Mercury program, for instance, each astronaut had just three medicines available. They were tigan, a drug that treats nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness; demerol for treating pain and, the stimulant dextroamphetamine to help keep them alert and awake.

Essential medicines

Nowadays, astronauts can spend up to six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS), so they need well-supplied medicine kits as well as access to advanced medical diagnostic and emergency resuscitation equipment. The ISS has two medicines kits, one for the Russians and one for the US astronauts, which reportedly contains 190 different medicines.

In many ways, the ISS has prepared us for human expeditions to Mars as the health effects of spending time there and medical emergencies that arise are likely to be similar. But there are also some important differences.

In emergency medical situations, astronauts on the ISS can return to Earth relatively quickly. But this would be impossible for a trip to Mars so medication to cover all eventualities has to be taken along.

The ISS can also be resupplied at regular intervals so large stockpiles of medicines are unnecessary. In contrast, a human expedition to Mars may last a year or more, so the astronauts will need to take all their necessary medications with them. The types of medicines needed can be divided into two categories: those for medical emergencies and those for the health effects of long-term space flight.

Possible medical conditions and emergencies the astronauts may face, and the medications they will need include:

Taking drugs in space

Once the medicines have been selected, we need to consider whether they will perform the way we expect them to when in space. This comes down to whether the medicines will survive space travel and whether they still work the same way in the human body in space.

The shelf life of medicines can vary greatly from drug to drug and can be affected by a variety of environmental factors such as temperature, exposure to radiation and even the amount of water in the air, or humidity. Too much or too little of these can affect medicines and render them ineffective, or worse, toxic.

Research shows medicines can also act differently under space conditions. A recent study showed when paracetamol was taken under microgravity conditions, drug absorption was much slower than on Earth but the amount of it that got into the bloodstream increased. This raises questions about how to calculate the correct dose to give astronauts in space to avoid both under-treating and overdoses.

This means we need to study, in detail, the effects of all medicines that astronauts will take with them before they can be placed in the medical kits for a mission to Mars. Any drug that doesn’t perform as expected is likely to be ineffective and put the astronauts life at risk. It will either need to be reformulated or substituted for another medicine.

A human expedition to Mars will always have inherent risks, including the physical toll it takes on the human body. Thanks to decades of space flight, we now better understand these effects and can make appropriate plans for the types and amounts of medicines n


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Artificial Intelligence and Mars

Artificial Intelligence Is Attracting Investors, Inventors, and Academic Researchers Worldwide

The researchers at the Barboza Space Center are paying close attention to how artificial intelligence will play a role in the future of going to school on Mars.   You might find this article by Sean Cavanagh interesting.


Senior Editor

If entrepreneurs and futurists are to be believed, artificial intelligence will have a transformative impact on many aspects of society–with uncertain implications for education.

A new report attempts to get beyond the prognostication and offer a precise gauge of where AI’s development stands right now, as judged by a variety of metrics across research and industry in the U.S. and internationally.

The AI Index 2018 Annual Report was produced by a group of researchers, led by Yoav Shoham, a professor emeritus of computer science at Stanford University. The measures in the report are not directly related to K-12 education, though some, such as the growth in venture capital and academic research, seem likely influence the development of AI in school settings.

One measure outlined in the report is the publication of AI-focused academic papers, where the release of research focused on artificial intelligence topics has outpaced the amount of published research on computer science over roughly the past two decades.

The interest in artificial intelligence in academia is not limited to the United States. Europe has consistently produced the largest number of AI papers, currently about 27 percent of them, according to the report, followed by China (25 percent) and United States (17 percent).  But the number of papers published in China jumped by 150 percent between 2007 and 2017.

About 30 percent of AI-focused patents originated in the U.S., the authors of the index say; Japan and South Korea hold the next-highest number, at 16 percent each. South Korea and Taiwan have shown the most growth in patents.

“We can assert that AI is global,” stated the researchers, who say the report is meant to serve as a “comprehensive resource” for the public, researchers, and others to “develop intuitions about the complex field of AI.”

Interest in AI has jumped by many other measures, too. Undergraduate course enrollments in AI and machine learning have risen in universities that have computer science programs–and not just in the United States. At China’s Tsinghua University, enrollment in AI and machine learning courses was 16 times greater in 2017 than it was in 2010.

Venture capitalists are also placing bets on AI. From 2015 to 2018, the number of AI-focused startups backed by venture capital more than doubled, outpacing the increases for the overall pool of startups:

VC spending on artificial intelligence








Economists and educators have speculated about how AI might influence not just teaching, but the future job market, and what schools need to do to prepare students to compete for careers. The AI Index shows a strong growth in the number of job openings with AI skill requirements.

Machine learning is the skill that is listed most often as a requirement, the report found. But deep learning–essentially work focused on imitating the human brain in processing data and creating patterns for decision-making–is the required skill growing at the fastest rate. It grew by 35 times between 2015 and 2017. Other AI-focused skills often required include natural language processing and robotics.

jobs requiring AI skills







Additionally, a growing number of companies in North America, China and other developing markets, and Europe are embedding “AI capabilities” in at least one function or business unit, says the report, citing a survey taken by McKinsey & Company.

Robotic process automation, machine learning, and conversational interfaces were among the AI capabilities cited most often.

This is the second year the index has been published. The new report, which was released in December, was broadened to include more data on AI’s presence outside North America.

Follow EdWeek Market Brief on Twitter @EdMarketBrief or connect with us on LinkedIn.

See also:


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What will you eat on Mars? (Veggies)


Eating your veggies, even in space
by Staff Writers
Oslo, Norway (SPX) Jan 07, 2019

Wolff found that the plants can “smell” or detect how much nutrition is available when she ran experiments in climate-regulated growth chambers in the Netherlands. Photo: Silje Wolff

Fresh food is so attractive to astronauts that they toasted with salad when they were able to cultivate a few lettuce heads on the International Space Station three years ago.

In 2021, beans are on the menu to be grown in space, planted in high-tech planters developed at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

“Astronauts like gardening and everything that reminds them of life on earth. They enjoy tending and watering the vegetables, and getting them to germinate,” says Silje Wolff, a plant physiologist at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Space (CIRiS), which is part of NTNU Social Research.

Wolff has just completed an experiment that involved growing lettuce for space. The lettuce was planted in artificial soil made from lava rock. The goal is for the plants to grow directly in water that is supplemented with plant nutrients.

“The dream of every astronaut is to be able to eat fresh food – like strawberries, cherry tomatoes or anything that’s really flavorful. Someday that will certainly be possible. We envision a greenhouse with several varieties of vegetables,” says Wolff.

The longest stays at the International Space Station have been six months. People travelling to Mars will need to be prepared to stay in space for at least a year.

The European Space Agency plans to build a lunar base in 2030 as a stopover on the way to Mars. NASA plans to fly directly to the planet with a target landing date of 2030.

“The way space travel works today, it’s almost impossible to take along all the resources you need. That’s why we have to develop a biological system so astronauts can produce their own food, and recycle all of the resources,” says Wolff.

Today’s astronauts eat only freeze-dried and vacuum-packed foods.

“Astronauts struggle with having little appetite. They often lose weight. Addressing the psychological aspect of eating something fresh is one of our goals. Vacuum-packed food doesn’t really remind you of food. Having something fresh that triggers the appetite and the right receptors in the brain is important,” Wolff says.

NTNU and CIRiS are collaborating with Italian and French researchers in their quest to cultivate plant-based food for long space journeys.

CIRiS tests the new equipment made by NTNU’s technical workshop – very sophisticated planters that regulate all the water, nutrients, gas and air the plants need. In space, all the water and food has to be recovered. This means that plant fertilization needs to be as precise as possible.

Wolff has conducted experiments in climate-regulated growth chambers in the Netherlands as one aspect of this research.

Of all the nutrients plants use, they use nitrogen the most. During her experiments, Wolff looked at different nutrient doses and how they affected the plants’ water uptake.

“We found that plants can, in a way, ‘smell’ the amount of nutrients available to them. When the nitrogen concentration is very low, the plant will absorb more water and thus more nitrogen until it reaches an optimal level. The plant has a mechanism that turns on when the nitrogen level is adequate. Then it adjusts both nitrogen and water absorption down,” says Wolff.

Everything that can be tested on Earth has now been carried out. The next step is to grow beans in space to observe the effect of no gravity on plants’ ability to transport water and absorb nutrients. Simulating the absence of gravity can’t be done on Earth.

The beans are placed in a centrifuge to sprout and grow in the space station. The centrifuge is rotated to create different amounts of gravity.

“The art of getting something to grow in space can be transferred to our planet,” Wolff said. “This is how we create a setup that produces both the microgravity conditions in the space station and the 1-g force that exists on Earth.”

That will allow her to compare how the different gravitational levels affect the plants in space. On Earth, gravity causes warm air to rise while cold air sinks. In the space station, air is more stationary, causing astronauts to always have a low-grade fever. Plants are also affected.

“Stationary air affects a layer on the underside of the leaf where the stoma pores are located. When gravity disappears, the boundary layer in the slit-shaped apertures thickens. This reduces evaporation and causes the leaf temperature to increase. Water vapour diffusion to the environment is an important part of plant regulation and can be compared with sweating to cool the body in humans and animals,” says Wolff.

Food production in cities offers an opportunity to produce more food in the most sustainable way. Cities don’t have much soil for cultivation, but a lot becomes possible if you can plant directly in water in indoor closed systems where all aspects of the climate are regulated.

“Recycling and precise fertilization are key to achieving more sustainable food production. By growing plants directly in water with dissolved nutrients, fertilization and irrigation are much easier to control,” says Wolff.

“The plants become less sensitive to nutritional deficiency because the roots are in direct contact with the nutrients. They’re always able to access new nutrients through the water, and can use absolutely all the nutrients available – unlike with soil that binds the nutrients and affects their availability to the roots. And the roots don’t rot when the water is mixed with a little oxygen,” she says.

Research Report: Testing New Concepts for Crop Cultivation in Space: Effects of Rooting Volume and Nitrogen Availability Silje A. Wolff, Carolina F. Palma, Leo Marcelis, Ann-Iren Kittang Jost and Sander H. van Delden. Life 2018, 8(4), 45

Side Note:

Mars Related STEAM++ International Student projects:

Bob Barboza is testing the soil from the base of volcanoes and a team of high school Jr. astronauts are using the soil for growing plants for Mars.   The students of Pedro Pierce High School on the Island of Fogo, Republic of Cabo Verde and students from the Long Beach Unified School District are working with the Barboza Space Center in southern California.  This year the Barboza Space Center Tiger teams will be studying the growth of cucumbers and beans.