|de Leon receives special commendation|
Pablo de Leon, a research associate in space studies, will receive a special commendation from the nation of Argentina and will be made a member of honor and representative in the "United States of the Argentine Academy of Aerospace History" at a special recognition next month in Buenos Aries.
While in Argentina, de Leon also will present research from his new all-Spanish-language book, "The History of Space Activities in Argentina."
"It will be the first book on this subject," de Leon said. "I have been using my weekends and vacations for some years on this book."
The first volume of de Leon's work covers space activities in Argentina before 1980, while the second volume covers everything afterward to the present.
"To write this book, I had the cooperation of the Department of Space Studies at UND, and even the cover was designed by our graphics designer," de Leon said.
De Leon has spent almost two decades as an aerospace engineer and has experience in space project management, spacesuit design and Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVA). He has worked with NASA's as a Space Shuttle payload manager and general designer of the mission's science experiments package. These experiments completed all NASA certifications for Mission STS-108 to the International Space Station in December 2001. This project carried seven experiments and performed flawlessly during the 12-day flight.
De Leon also was as chief designer and fabrications manager for several underwater-simulation, EVA-analog and pressure suit systems.
As a writer, de Leon has published several books and reports about space, with a special interest in manned space flight. One of these books, titled "108 Minutes in Space" documents the first flight of a human in space. He founded a magazine on space exploration, and is currently editor in chief of the "Latin-American Journal of Space Science and Technology." He has written more than 35 technical papers on space engineering and life support systems, which he presented at various 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 and was co-founder of the Latin American Space Association (Asociacion Espacial Latinoamericana www.alespacio.org).
de Leon was elected to be regional representative (South America) for the Space Generation Advisory Council in Support of the United Nations Program on Space Applications. He also was one of the original competitors in the X-Prize, which advocates for private-sector research in space travel.
De Leon holds a sports scuba-diving certification, a professional scuba certification and is a private pilot.
He is married to Ana Maria, and they currently live in Grand Forks.