David Spencer Director, Space Flight Projects Laboratory, and Associate Professor, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics Purdue University


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PhD, School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2015
MS, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University, 1991
BS, Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering, Purdue University, 1989


Mission Design
Spacecraft relative motion
Aeroassist technologies
Mission operations
Small satellite applications

Awards and Major Appointments

Honors and Awards

NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, Phoenix project management, 2009
NASA Space Act Award, Entry, Descent and Landing Monte Carlo Simulation, 2007
NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, Deep Impact mission management, 2006
Outstanding Aerospace Engineer Award, Purdue University, 2004
NASA Exceptional Service Medal, Mars Odyssey mission system leadership, 2003
JPL Award for Excellence, Mars Surveyor 2001 trajectory design, 1999
NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, Mars Pathfinder mission design, 1998
JPL Award for Excellence, Mars Pathfinder Entry, Descent and Landing design, 1998

Professional Affiliations

Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, since 2010
Board of Directors, American Astronautical Society, 2015 - present
Associate Editor, Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 2015 - present
Advisory Board, ARCS Foundation, 2009-2012
Member, The Planetary Society