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Space Systems Design Laboratory

Space Systems Design Laboratory

Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0150
Phone: 404.894.7783
Fax: 404.894.2760

News & Events

Taken this week at the 13th International Planetary Probe Workshop held at the JHU Applied Physics Laboratory: 15 SSDL graduate students, past and present, participated in this meeting. 12 of the students pictured are currently members or formerly members of Prof. Braun's research group.IPPW 2016

Congratulations to SSDL students Jeremy Hill, who received a Ph.D., Rob Booher, who received a M.S., and Nate Skolnick, who received a B.S., in the Spring 2016 commencement.

A recent announcement by SpaceX heading to Mars in 2018 highlights work done by researchers in SSDL; The feasability of such a mission is critiqued in the following article, "Can SpaceX really land on Mars? Absolutely, says an engineer who would know."

Congratulations to SSDL graduate students Julian Brew, Nate Skolnick, and Michael Werner who were awarded NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships beginning in August 2016.

Congratulations to Jeremy Hill who completed and successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled "Mechanical Property Determination for Flexible Material Systems," and graduated in May 2016.

Prime Destination: The International Student Experience - Lin Li and Ulises Núñez Garzón, two students from SSDL, were featured in a recent GT Alumni Magazine article highlighting the draw that Georgia Tech has on international students.

An AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets article co-authored by Professor Braun and Robert Manning of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory was named as one of the four most-cited articles published by the journal between 2005 and 2010. Mars Exploration Entry, Descent and Landing Challenges documents previous Mars entry, descent, and landing systems and demonstrates the benefits of potential technologies in increasing landed performance for future robotic and human exploration missions. AIAA has made the top four articles from this timeframe available for free download at

On February 5, 2016 the Georgia Tech Prox-1 team successfully conducted their Pre-Integration Review with the AFOSR/AFRL University Nanosatellite Program. The review ensures that the spacecraft is fully functional at the system level, in a bench-top configuration. Now that the review is complete, final integration of the spacecraft components into the flight structure will begin. The next major milestone for Prox-1 is the Pre-Ship Review, scheduled for May 2016.

Congratulations to SSDL graduate students Casey Heidrich, Alexandra Long, and Peter Schulte on successfully passing their PhD qualifying exams in Spring 2016.

SSDL is pleased to welcome the following new graduate students into the lab for Spring 2016: Julian Brew, Tanish Himani, and Jian Li.

Ongoing work in SSDL was featured in Issue 3 of the 2015 Georgia Tech Research Horizons magazine article, The Future is Small.

Congratulations to Sean Chait, Andris Jaunzemis, Alexandra Long, Tim Murphy, Peter Schulte, Adam Snow, and Johnny Worthy who received M.S. degrees in the Fall 2015 commencement.

Congratulations to SSDL graduate students Grant Rossman, Keir Gonyea, and Johnny Worthy on their successful PhD Thesis proposals in Fall 2015.

Numerous SSDL faculty and alumni were part of a GT alumni magazine article on the next stage of space exploration.

Congratulations to SSDL graduate student Hisham Ali who was selected in September 2015 to receive an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation PhD Fellowship.

SSDL is pleased to welcome the following new graduate students into the lab this Fall: Lyndy Axon, Thomas Choi, Parker Francis, Fan Geng, Zach Levine, Daniel Marsillach, Evan Roelke, Terry Stevenson, Jason Swenson, Shez Virani and Michael Werner.

In August, SSDL alumnus Zach Putnam began his academic career at the University of Illinois. Zach earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Georgia Tech and was a member of SSDL from August 2005 through May 2006 and August 2010 through May 2015.

On July 28, 2015 Dr. Robert Braun testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space & Technology. He was one of five expert witnesses invited to address the topic, "Exploration of the Solar System: From Mercury to Pluto and Beyond". The purpose of this hearing was to review recent NASA achievements in exploring the solar system, including the exploration of Pluto and the asteroid Ceres, as well as assess the future of our nation's planetary exploration program.