Space Shuttle Engineer Turns Actor

Steve Testa is a renaissance man – both artist and scientist. 

His artistic passion first emerged in the music arena. Born in Arlington, Texas, his family moved to Ethiopia for some time when he was young. With not much else to do, his “country guitar” playing mother would entertain the family, which lead to Steve learning how to play. When they moved to St. Louis, Missouri, Steve put the guitar down, but not for long. Throughout his school years, he played in a band, but also discovered the trombone and his love for jazz. 

This pursuit of music led Steve to attend college at North Texas State, known today as the University of North Texas. During this time, he also began acting in student films, but became truly fascinated with Physics, for which he earned a Bachelor’s Degree. After graduating, Steve headed to San Diego where he served in the United States Navy. He found balance creatively by playing guitar and taking classes to hone his acting chops during his downtime. 

After his tour in the military, Steve married his wife and became the father of two daughters. Along the way, he joined the reserves and relocated his budding family to Cocoa Beach, Florida, (aka “The Space Coast”) where he worked as a Space Shuttle Systems Engineer for NASA at Kennedy Space Center. His artistic path would surface once again when he became a technical consultant on the celebrated feature film Apollo 13. And, as fate would have it, Steve was later hand-picked by director Ron Howard to appear in a scene opposite Tom Hanks. Now eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild, this opportunity sparked Steve into pursuing his acting further with appearances in commercials, infomercials and then in HBO’s From the Earth to the Moon and the CW’s The Cape

Since retiring a few years ago from NASA and becoming “empty nesters,” Steve and his wife moved to Los Angeles. He has added several more credits to his resume, including the Amazon series The Last Tycoon and Here Now, and his network television debut this summas an Imposter on ABC’s popular game-show series To Tell the Truth hosted by Anthony Anderson. 

Recently, Steve has ventured into producing, starting the film production company Foxtrot Creative LLC, along with his daughter, Fawn Testa-Ribeiro. Their first short film project, Lost and Found, hit the festival circuit last year, winning the ‘Audience Award: Best Drama Short’ at the 2018 Silicon Beach Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Steve can’t wait to see where his passions lead him next.