Space Launch and Stewardship for National Security Space
April 27, 2012
Dr. Jeff Emdee,
The Aerospace Corporation
Access to space for many US satellites is provided by expendable rockets such as the Delta IV and Atlas V. This generation of launch vehicles has seen unprecedented success in the last ten years. However, launch remains one of the riskiest events in the life of a spacecraft. The challenges of high reliability space launch will be discussed with a focus on the benefits of a mission assurance program. Additionally, the growing problem of space debris will be discussed. More and more today, the disposal of inactive spacecraft and orbital debris is making the news (e.g., the recent Russian Mars probe reentry). Orbital debris mitigation is also having an impact on space launch system design and development. The space debris problem will not go away anytime soon, however, the international community is beginning to make prevention and mitigation a priority.
The Aerospace Corporation provides mission assurance support to National Security Space and Civil Space programs for the US Air Force and NASA. Dr. Emdee is responsible for mission design, integration, and systems engineering processes for the EELV program, including Atlas V and Delta IV. Areas of responsibility include independent verification of loads and dynamics, trajectory, flight control, environments, flight operations, spacecraft to launch vehicle integration requirements, debris mitigation policy compliance, and secondary payload integration requirements. In addition Dr. Emdee has responsibility for the launch verification process at Aerospace. Prior to his current position, Dr. Emdee was the Chief Systems Engineer for the Atlas V program and prior to that he was the Director of the Propulsion Department. Dr. Emdee received his PhD from Princeton University in 1991 and his Bachelor's Degree from UC Irvine in 1986. He is an AIAA Associate Fellow, published over 20 papers in propulsion and launch vehicles, and has taught courses for AIAA and The Aerospace Institute.