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Crew 159

James Giammona is a 3rd year biophysics PhD student at University of California Santa Barbara studying the physical aspects of morphogenesis. He hopes to help search for life throughout the solar system. He enjoys sailing, flying gliders and building science and robotic projects in his free time.

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Anna Ialeggio

Anna Ialeggio is a builder and independent artist from Vermont, currently based in Los Angeles.  She is trained in Wilderness First Response, natural building methodology, automotive & small engine repair, small-scale agriculture, journalism, and museum exhibit design/fabrication, and applies these skills to a broad set interests including wilderness exploration/conservation (incl. space), amateur scientific research in evolutionary ecology, radio production, cultural theory, and analog simulation.  She’s a Park Service Ranger (formerly at Bandelier Nat’l Monument), backcountry surveyor, and survival enthusiast.  Her artistic practice evolves speculative media: synthesizing personal forays into simulation (and stagecraft, role-play, alternate reality, and all of the grey areas between) as sound pieces, performances, and sculpture — art as a scientific method, and vice versa.    As a space enthusiast, Anna believes in the transformative potential of reaching for a pluralist venture to Mars.  She has worked with the Los Angeles Natural History Museum, Mars Desert Research Society, Wave Farm 105.3FM, Kunstradio, The Hammer Museum, Van AbbeMuseum, Mass MOCA, Philadelphia Mural Arts, the Philadelphia Arts Alliance, and ULTRAZONE Laser Tag.  Anna’s interest in space exploration was born the year that she rafted the Mississippi River on a floating theater made out of trash.

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Chiara Cocchiara

Chiara Cocchiara has three master degrees in aerospace engineering, and works at EUMETSAT as System Operations Engineer, at the mission control center in Darmstadt, for operating, monitoring and control of meteorological satellites. She started her career in the aeronautical field, with an internship at Rolls Royce for the design of an UAV, and then moved more towards space, with internships at the European Space Agency (ESA).

She is curious and passionate about space related activities in general and her dream is to be an astronaut. She always tries to challenge herself and try to experience new fields. She won the Innovators Under 35 Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2015 for the European edition (Italy). She is motivated in spreading the space culture among the new generation and she is visiting lecturer at the universities of Wuerzburg in Germany, and Palermo in Italy teaching a course about Spacecraft Operations.

Among her hobbies, she plays the piano and has a degree in ballet. She speaks five languages and her goal is always to improve and above all never stop dreaming.

She considers the MDRS experience the beginning of her path towards the space exploration. Every experience is a small contribution of the bigger puzzle of life, and from each of it, is possible to learn and to push the limits harder, making life the most amazing adventure.


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Barak Stoltz


Originally from Israel, I am a third year student at the University of Illinois at Chicago currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineer with a minor is physics. I love understanding the thought process behind people’s actions and decisions as well as exploring the dynamics of a group. Having both current experience conducting experiments in a nanotechnology lab and extreme enthusiasm towards humanity’s future through space exploration, joining MDRS was a no brainer!


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