Email: Bryan A. Palaszewski
Who I am ...
I am Bryan Palaszewski, and I have worked at the NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field
since 1989. I am currently directing experimental and analytical research on high performance
propellants, such as gelled fuels and high energy density materials.
I recently completed experiments in solid hydrogen particles, which can be used to store atoms
of boron, carbon, and hydrogen for super advanced rocket fuel.
For three years, I led the Accident Mitigation aspects of the NASA/Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) Aviation Safety Program, investigating ways of making aircraft
and their fuels safer. I recently led the NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
special topic named "Fuels and Space Propellants for Reusable Launch Vehicles."
This topic was directed toward making and commercializing safer, denser propellants
that provide higher rocket specific impulse (or exhaust velocity).
The higher the exhaust velocity, the better the rocket can perform.
After we make the fuels, we do very cool (but really quite hot!) rocket engine testing too.
Where I came from ...
Since the age of five years, I have loved the idea of being in and exploring outer space.
It is where all of the action of the future will be for Humankind.
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and lived there through completion of my college work,
receiving a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the City College of New York
in June 1981.
I hold a Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology; my Master's thesis dealt with low Reynolds Number flow in the human eye
and its link to glaucoma.
How I got to NASA and how my career developed ...
After completing my Masters Degree, I worked for six years at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
in Pasadena, California, where I led many studies of advanced space systems for orbital
and interplanetary travel. I was the lead propulsion subsystem engineer on the Ocean Topography
Experiment (TOPEX) for three years. And I have been involved in other flight projects,
such as the Galileo Mission to Jupiter and the Cassini Mission to Saturn.
What else I do ...
I very much enjoy the history of spaceflight, backpacking, hot-air ballooning,
skydiving, photography, creative writing, science fiction, model building, and model rocketry.
I am currently a part-time ground crew member for hot-air balloon pilots in Northeast Ohio.
I am a very active member of NASA Glenn's Speakers Bureau, making over 40 public presentations
per year to schools and other organizations in a six-state area.
I have had an active Astronaut Application with NASA for 14 years.
Summary of the work I do ...
Planning experimental and analytical research in Mars entry descent and landing (EDL)
for Aeronautics Research (under Supersonics).
Planned support of NASA JSC work in Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) launch vehicle propulsion
for International Space Station (ISS) resupply.
Research in rocket and airbreathing engine fuels, especially high energy additives
such as metallized gelled fuels for space missions.
Cryogenics research in low-temperature atomic species for ultra high energy fuels,
such as atomic hydrogen, atomic boron, and atomic carbon.
Conducts investigations of outer planet atmospheric mining for future energy needs
of the Earth and possible high energy fusion space propulsion systems.
Management of NASA fuels and space mission contacts with government, industry and academia.
Provides consulting support for and many government, academic, and industry partners
(including small businesses) for research program directions.
COTR on many contracts including SBIR, Aviation Safety, etc.
Supports NASA Outreach with the Speakers Bureau (speeches and personal appearances, nationwide)
and the Digital Learning Network (educational videoconferences, worldwide).
Supports AIAA nationally with participation in three of their technical committees (TCs):
- Nuclear and Future Flight Propulsion TC
- Space Resources TC
- Space Colonization Working Group
+ High Energy Propellants
SBIR Fuels and Space Propellants Web Site:
Digital Learning Network - Student Video Conferencing Web Sites: