Episode 26: Space Suits and Parachutes with Aerospace Engineer Brian Neumann

Brian is an experienced test engineer in our nation’s space and defense industry. He’s worked to test and improve space suits, parachutes, and F-14’s. Which makes Brian pretty damn cool.


Beth and Brian enjoyed talking about:

  • Star Wars talk & who is the best villain (Emperor) Brian remembers the theater he saw Star Wars in.
  • Working in air traffic control software in Dallas, working on F-16 program at Lockheed Martin (just like his grandmother).
  • His grandmother also worked at Lockheed Martin, and could name cars on the road as well as planes in the sky.
  • Worked flight controls for Orion program at NASA and then moved into flight integration and test, and working the software side and vehicle testing
  • The opportunity to see either a test of the project you’ve been working on, or seeing shuttle launch live is an easy decision to make….
  • Beth and Brian discuss what a good day is in the world of testing spacecraft…
  • Close does count when you get within 500 feet to landing on the moon, in our opinion.  
  • Brian explains why simply changing out spacesuits, or getting a new one for a spacewalk is complicated…

Key Takeaways:

Testing is a critical and necessary part of preparing for a mission to space, and even crashing into the surface of Mars can be a test result we can study and learn from

Life support systems for spacesuits are pretty basic, and yet so complicated. Just like the life support systems in your home, you want everything to work for you (waste, air, water) at the touch of a button,  so you can focus on other things.

Spacesuits were designed and built decades ago, and we’re still using them today. Testing and designing the new spacesuits is a fun and exciting part of Brian’s job that we will get to see the results of in the next few years! Doing an EVA (Extracurricular Vehicle Activity=spacewalk).

“All the talk about going to the south pole (of the moon) in a few years…the people at the forefront of building another lunar EMU are US, at the Johnson Space Center! It’s great!”

Brian Neuman

“A suit is really a little spaceship.”

Brian Neumann

About Brian Neumann:

On paper, Brian is a Avionics Integration Systems Engineer for the Portable Life Support Systems. This means he works on NASA’s spacesuits!  Like most talented engineers, Brian’s work is varied and extends to numerous cool projects. He’s an experienced test engineer with a demonstrated history of working in the Defense & Space industry. Skilled in Integration and Test, Systems Engineering, and Flight Test.