Pablo de León, Ph.D.
Pablo de León has almost two decades as an aerospace engineer with experience in space project management and space suit design and Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVA). He is currently an Associate Professor in the area of extravehicular activities and space suit design at the Department of Space Studies, University of North Dakota, in Grand Forks. He is also preparing a new course on Human Spaceflight for UND, and working as project manager of a NASA-funded program on planetary space suit design.
Prior to that, he worked with the Space Shuttle as payload manager and general designer of the Project PADE (G-761) science experiments package. These experiments completed all NASA certifications and flew on mission STS-108 to the International Space Station in December 2001.This project carried seven experiments and performed flawlessly during the 12 day space flight.
His prior experience was as chief designer and fabrications manager for several, underwater-simulation, (EVA) analog, pressure suit systems. Pablo has flown, as payload specialist, in the NASA KC-135 aircraft more than 80 weightless parabolas carrying four Zero-G fluid dynamics experiments.
As writer, Pablo has published several books and reports about space, with a special interest in manned space flight. One of these books entitled "108 Minutes in Space" documents the first flight of a human in space. He founded a magazine of space exploration, and is currently editor in chief of the "Latin-American Journal of Space Science and Technology". Pablo has written more than 35 technical papers on space engineering and life support systems presented at international congresses. He belongs to a number of professional aerospace engineering societies. He was selected Regent of the United Societies in Space (USIS) in 2000. During 2000 he was co-founder of the Latin American Space Association (Asociacion Espacial Latinoamericana ).
Pablo was elected as Regional Representative (South America) of the Space Generation Advisory Council in Support of the United Nations Program on Space Applications. He completed training as member of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a training program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (City of Cape Canaveral, Florida). He was recently appointed as reviewer of the Collection of Preferred Space-Related Standards (CPSRS) being organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
Pablo holds sports scuba-diving certification, professional scuba certification and is a private pilot.
He is married to Ana Maria, and they currently live in Grand Forks, ND. During their spare time they enjoy traveling, watching old science fiction movies, designing rockets ( Estesrockets.com ) and learning more about the next frontier.