The decision to come to The University of Texas at Austin was a natural one for Julian Hallai, an engineering mechanics PhD candidate in his fifth year.

"Of course we all have our limits, but how can you possibly find your boundaries unless you explore as far and as wide as you possibly can? I would rather fail in an attempt at something new and uncharted than safely succeed in a repeat of something I have done."

Many of Dr. Byron Tapley’s students – whether they worked at NASA, in the military, in international space agencies or in academia themselves – have already retired, yet he is still actively working after more than half a century. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in Tapley’s career.

After seven years of work by over 150 students on a shoestring budget, the FASTRAC team will experience the ultimate gratification of any aerospace engineer on November 19: seeing the fruits of their labor launch into space.

Obviously an astronaut has much more to consider than fashion in the spacesuits they wear on spacewalks and during space travel. At a recent talk by alumnus Terry Hill (BS ASE '96, MS ASE '98), as part of Space Week Texas 2011, students learned just how much actually goes into the design of the remarkable apparel designed to sustain an astronaut's life functions and protect him or her from the many threats encountered in space exploration.