The Space Systems Design Laboratory (SSDL) was founded within Georgia Tech's Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering in 1998 with the goal of creating a world-class research and educational organization dedicated to the design of advanced space systems. The lab is currently directed by Prof. Glenn Lightsey and consists of graduate and undergraduate students with an interest in space systems analysis, design and development.

Research in the lab centers on identification and assessment of new technologies and approaches for human and robotic space and planetary exploration. Access to space, atmospheric entry and space systems engineering topics are research areas of particular interest and expertise. Our projects rely heavily on computer simulation and analytical prediction techniques to answer "what-if" questions related to next-generation space missions, vehicles, and architecture concepts. Members of the lab have developed new distributed design methods, new disciplinary analysis tools, and multidisciplinary design optimization techniques for robust design in an uncertain environment. The common focus of the lab is the application of these methods and tools to future space systems.

Students graduating from SSDL have found employment at NASA, the FAA, the Aerospace Corporation, the U.S. Air Force, JPL, Draper Lab, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Orbital Sciences, SpaceX, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Virgin Galactic, SAIC, Vulcan Aerospace, Northrop Grumman, and SpaceWorks Engineering.

Past SSDL Directors include John R. Olds (1998-2005), Robert D. Braun (2003-2016) and David A. Spencer (2010-2016).

For more information on the SSDL, please contact Prof. Glenn Lightsey.