Franco Malerba

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Franco Egidio Malerba
Member of the European Parliament
In office
19 July 1994 – 19 July 1999
Personal details
Born (1946-10-10) 10 October 1946 (age 77)
Busalla, Metropolitan City of Genoa, Liguria, Italy
Political partyForza Italia
Space career
ASI astronaut
Time in space
7d 23h 15m
Selection1989 ESA Group
Mission insignia

Franco Egidio Malerba (born 10 October 1946 in Busalla, Metropolitan City of Genoa, Italy) is an Italian astronaut and Member of the European Parliament. He was the first citizen of Italy to travel to space. In 1994, he was elected to the European Parliament on the lists of Forza Italia, serving until 1999.



Founding Member of the Italian Space Society.

Research activities[edit]

  • 1970-75 Research Assistant at CNR's Laboratorio de Biofisica e Cibernetica (Genoa) carrying experimental work on membrane biophysics (using squid axons) and biological membrane modeling with lipid bilayers.
  • 1971 Lecturer of Cybernetics and Information Theory at the Physics Faculty, University of Genoa.
  • 1972 Summer Research Assistant at the Nato Saclant Research Center (La Spezia, Italy) working on computer-aided signal detection methodologies for sonar data systems.
  • 1972-74 Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, Maryland) designing, developing, testing and using a fast micro-spectrophotometer for research on photoreceptors biophysics (using frog retinas).
  • 1977-80 In 1977, Dr. Malerba was chosen by the European Space Agency (ESA) as one of four European Payload Specialist Candidates for the first Spacelab mission. After this selection he became a staff member at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) of ESA Space Science Department, Space Plasma Physics Division, working in the development, testing, and qualification of ES020 - PICPAB, an experiment in Ionospheric Plasma Physics for the first Spacelab payload, flown in 1983, involving the use of accelerated charged particle beams (cooperation involved French CNRS/CRPE, Norwegian NRDE and ESTEC).

Industry experience[edit]

  • 1976-89 Held technical and technical management positions with Digital Equipment in Italy and in Europe. He worked mainly in the field of multiprocessor systems (Paris 1976, Milan 1977), computer networks engineering (Geneva 1981-85), and telecommunications technology (Rome 1986–88, and Sophia Antipolis in 1989).

Military experience[edit]

Reserve Officer, Marina Militare. Served in 1974-75 (Sottotenente Armi Navali); was assigned to the Destroyer San Giorgio as Science Lecturer to the Naval Academy, and then to the Mariperman Technical Center in La Spezia working on ELF transmission systems.

Other skills[edit]

Obtained scuba diving license from the Calypso Scuba Club, Geneva (1984).

Flying status[edit]

Obtained Private Pilot License (College Park, Washington, D.C., 1973) and then the equivalent Italian flying license.

Spaceflight experience[edit]

After selection in 1989 as a Payload Specialist by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and NASA, he became a staff member of ASI and was assigned to the NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, for training. In September 1991, he was designated Prime Payload Specialist for the TSS-1 Space Shuttle mission. Malerba flew as the first Italian citizen in space on STS-46 (31 July 1992 to 7 August 1992). He is now involved with the Italian Space Agency (ASI) manned space flight program follow-on activities.

External links[edit]

  • "DR. FRANCO MALERBA, PH.D. PAYLOAD SPECIALIST" (PDF). NASA. March 2000. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  • Spacefacts biography of Franco Malerba

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.