Welcome to

Interplanetary Small Satellite Conference

7-8 May 2018
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California

Watch the ISSC 2017 conference here: Day 1 and Day 2.


    This conference is organized by students, alumni, and staff from Caltech, MIT, Cornell, the University of Michigan, and JPL. We look forward to welcoming the community back to ISSC to explore mission concepts, discuss emerging technologies, and foster “outside the box” thinking that will be critical to future interplanetary small satellite missions.


    The ISSC 2018 booklet will be available at a later date.
    The 2018 ISSC will be held May 7-8 at California Institute of Technology.

ISSC 2018 Keynote Speakers

Charles Norton

    Dr. Charles D. Norton is currently the NASA SMD Assistant Deputy Associate Administrator for Small Spacecraft Programs responsible for establishing NASA's strategic direction for innovative small satellite science missions from ESPA-Class spacecraft down to CubeSats. Prior to this appointment, he served as a program area manager and principal technologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology as the Advanced Information Systems Technology (AIST) and In-Space Validation of Earth Science Technologies (InVEST) Program Associate for NASA’s Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO) at JPL. He has also served as the JPL engineering and science directorate formulation lead for Small Satellites with additional duties within various JPL strategic investment and formulation committees. His research interests include small satellite spaceborne technology validation, high-performance computing for Earth and space science modeling, and advanced information systems technologies. He has managed multiple CubeSat flight projects, co-led a Caltech Keck Institute for Space Sciences Study Program on “Small Satellites: A Revolution in Space Science”, and co-authored two 2 National Academies of Science reports on “Achieving Science with CubeSats: Thinking Inside the Box” and “Powering Science: NASA’s Large Strategic Science Missions”. Prior to joining JPL, he was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow. He has given more than 30 national and international keynote/invited talks; published in various journals, conference proceedings, and book chapters, and is a recipient of numerous awards for new technology and innovation, including the JPL Lew Allen Award and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

Sergio Pellegrino

    Sergio Pellegrino, Joyce and Kent Kresa Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Civil Engineering at the California Institute of Technology and JPL Senior Research Scientist, received a Laurea in Civil Engineering from the University of Naples in 1982 and a PhD in Structural Mechanics from the University of Cambridge in 1986.

    His general area of research is the mechanics of lightweight structures, with a focus on packaging, deployment, shape control and stability. With his students and collaborators, he is currently working on novel concepts for future space telescopes, spacecraft antennas, and space-based solar power systems.

    As a member of the NASA Superpressure Balloon design team, for over 10 years he has worked on analysis methods for stratospheric balloons. Dr Pellegrino's publications have been selected for several awards, including the ICE James Watt Medal 2000; AIAA Gossamer Spacecraft Forum Best Paper Award in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2013; IASS Tsuboi Award in 2004, 2005, and 2007; ASME/Boeing Best Paper Award in 2008; and ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Committee Best Paper Award in 2013. He has received a Pioneers' Award in 2002 from the Space Structures Research Center, University of Surrey and a NASA Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement Team Award in 2009.

    Dr Pellegrino is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of AIAA and a Chartered Structural Engineer. He is President of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the IASS. Dr Pellegrino is the author of over 250 technical publications.

Previous Conferences

    Please click the link below to access papers, presentations, and other information about previous conferences. This page will be used to archive conference materials as this event continues in future years.