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The advent of interplanetary small spacecraft, by Dr. Andy Klesh

April 9 @ 11:00 am 12:40 pm PDT

(April 9) The advent of interplanetary small spacecraft (and the enabling of COTS-based robotic explorers), by Dr. Andrew Klesh

RSVP and Information: https://conta.cc/3t7Q24s

(For posting only, not for ticket sale on this webpage. Please check RSVP and information link/button for RSVP/registration/tickets. Thank you very much !)


AIAA LA-LV 4/9 Section (Town Hall) Meeting

(An hybrid event: in-person and online on Zoom)

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 11 AM PDT


Location (Also it’s online on Zoom) 

Manhattan Beach Library

1320 Highland Avenue

Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(South of 105 Hwy and West of 405 Hwy/Pacific Coast Hwy (1))

(also online on Zoom for an hybrid event)

(If you are sick or don’t feel well, please stay home and attend online on Zoom.)

(This event is not sponsored by the Manhattan Beach Library)


The Advent of Interplanetary Small Spacecraft (and the Enabling of COTS-based Robotic Explorers)

(plus a general comment on the civilian astronaut application process)



Dr. Andrew Klesh

Lunar Trailblazer Project Systems Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


(The speaker will present in person.)


Recent years have seen an explosion in low-cost exploration as small spacecraft become a regular contributors to science missions. While these craft have made an impact in Earth science for over a decade, including the introduction of high-temporal-resolution imaging, until recently, none have ventured beyond low-Earth orbit. In 2018, MarCO paved the way for interplanetary SmallSat exploration with the successful support of the InSight mission at Mars and the completion of an over 480 million kilometer, 6.5 month independent journey. Now, similar vehicles are heading to asteroids, orbiting the moon, and serving critical roles for novel science opportunities.


While these craft explore further from Earth, the same technology is enabling their brethren to dive deep into our oceans or crawl under Antarctic ice shelves. The miniaturization and availability of commercial-off-the-shelf electronics provides new opportunities to explore extreme environments with a renewed look at cost-risk-objective trades.


In this seminar, we’ll tell the story of MarCO, and how two small spacecraft changed the perception of the possible. We’ll also look at what upcoming interplanetary small spacecraft are aiming to do, and how lessons learned from interplanetary explorers are making an impact with extreme exploration robotics here on Earth.


Dr. Andrew Klesh

Lunar Trailblazer Project Systems Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Dr. Andrew Klesh is a mission architect and the Lunar Trailblazer Project Systems Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Previously, he served as the chief engineer for MarCO, the first two interplanetary CubeSats, which successfully flew by Mars in 2018. He is also technical lead of several teams which use extreme environment robots and instruments to explore the deep ocean and ice-water interfaces in arctic, Antarctic, and glacial terrains. Prior to JPL, he served as a postdoctoral fellow at JAXA. He has multiple degrees from the University of Michigan (BSE EE, BSE Aero, MSE Aero, MEng Space Systems, PhD Aero), is working on a masters in geology/geophysics, and served as postdoc and chief engineer of Michigan’s Radio Aurora Explorer mission. He was awarded the 2020 AIAA Engineer of the Year and NASA’s Exceptional Engineering Medal for his work on MarCO.


Andy is an active EMT and a captain of JPL’s Urban Search and Rescue team. He is an instrument rated private pilot, and previously volunteered on the California Science Center’s scuba dive team. Currently, he volunteers at the USC/Wrigley Hyperbaric Chamber and with the Pasadena Fire Department as an emergency responder. As a lecturer at Caltech and adjunct professor at Arizona State University, he teaches Space Systems, Electronics for Space Applications, and Macgyver Engineering. In his spare time he enjoys tinkering, mountaineering, backpacking, and adventure racing.


Tentative Agenda: (All Time PDT)

10:30 am – 11:00 am: Check-in, Networking

11:00 am – 11:10 am :Welcome and Introduction

11:10 am – 12:40 pm: Presentations and Q&A

12:40 pm – 01:30 pm: Networking

02:00 pm: Adjourn (Need to leave the meeting room completely by 2 pm)


Tickets: (No Refund Within 7 Days of the Event Date or Afterwards)


In-Person tickets: (Online access included)

$5 Presentation Only -No Lunch

$16 AIAA Student / Educator Member Price (w/ Lunch)

$21 Non-AIAA Member -Student / Educator (w/ Lunch)

$20 AIAA Professional Member Price (w/ Lunch)

$25 Non-AIAA Member -Professional Price (w/ Lunch)

$17: AIAA Life-Time Member (w/ Lunch)

$17: AIAA Member with 20 or more years of membership (w/ Lunch)


COVID-19 Pre-cautions:


(This rule could be changed anytime before the event. Further update will be provided if any changes.)


Currently, this meeting room still has the indoor masking and social distancing mandates. The seats are limited, but the online-only tickets are available (See below). Please only RSVP the in-person tickets if you are sure you will show up in-person. If you booked with in-person tickets, but realized you can’t make it in-person, please inform us ASAP. However, No Refund Within 7 Days of the Event Date or Afterwards. Each in-person ticket will include the online access as well.


No food or water consumption is allowed in this meeting room. Therefore, the lunchbox will be picked up at the end of the presentation/Q&A and to be taken home or enjoyed outside the building. There is a patio right next to the meeting room, however, only 1 table and several chairs in this public patio area.


Online-Only tickets:

$2.95: (Online Only) AIAA Professional Member

$5.95: (Online Only) Non-AIAA Member – Professional

$1.95: (Online Only) AIAA Educator Member

$4.95: (Online Only) Non-AIAA Member – Educator

$1.45: (Online Only) AIAA University Student Member

$4.45: (Online Only) Non-AIAA Member – University Student

$0 (No Charge): (Online Only) AIAA High School (HS) Student Member, Non AIAA Member HS Student, and other K-12 Student

(Those K-12 student registrants will be required to type in a statement during registration to confirm with honesty they are indeed High School or K-12 Students.)

$2.95: (Online Only) AIAA Member – Other Categories

$5.95: (Online Only) Non-AIAA Member – Other Categories

$0 (No Charge): (Online Only) AIAA Life-Time Member

$0 (No Charge): (Online Only) AIAA Member with 20 or more years of membership


Disclaimer: The views of the speakers do not represent the views of AIAA or the AIAA Los Angeles-Las Vegas Section


[AIAA Los Angeles-Las Vegas], [events.aiaalalv@gmail.com], [https://aiaa-lalv.org]


April 9
11:00 am – 12:40 pm PDT
Event Category:
Event Tags:
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AIAA Los Angeles-Las Vegas Section

Manhattan Beach Library

1320 Highland Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 US
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