The Advanced Astrodynamics Concepts (AAC) research group is led by Professor James M. Longuski in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University. The research group concentrates on spacecraft and mission design concepts that may advance future exploration of the Solar System in the next decades.

Some of the current research projects include the following:

  • Beyond Mars: A Mission Architecture for Human Exploration of Ceres.
  • Tether Slings for the Exploration of Mars.
  • Magnetically Actuated Six Degree of Freedom Spacecraft Control Using Magnetic Torque Coils and Short Electrodynamic Tethers.
  • One Way to Mars: Homesteading Mars with the First Human Missions.
  • Dual-Use Spacecraft Missions for Solar System Exploration using Analytical Approach.
  • Analytic Planetary Entry Theories for Rapid Trajectory Propagation.
  • Martian Waterworld: Exclusive Use of Water on Mars for Rocket Propellant.
  • Deep Space Radiation Mitigation Using an Ultra-Massive Mars Cycler.
  • Enceladus Sample Returns Using Titan Aerogravity Assist.
  • Tipping Points for Mars Human Exploration.
  • Analytic Theory of Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics and Control.

Please see the dissertations and publications section to know more about the past research carried out by the group. Information for prospective students can be found here. You can explore students’ spacecraft design projects or learn elementary rocket science for beginners. There is also a page dedicated to media. Explore.


+ Dr. Ralph D. Lorenz, Senior Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD is visiting Purdue University from April 14 to April 15, 2014. Dr. Lorenz is going to interact with the research group on both the days. Dr. Lorenz is going to deliver two interesting talks on Huygens Probe as well as on Saturn’s moon Titan.

+ Apollo astronaut, Dr. Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the Moon with the late Neil Armstrong, will speak at Purdue University on October 16, 2013. Buzz will interact exclusively with the research group during the day.
Aldrin will discuss his new book, “Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration.” He also will sign copies of the book.
The presentation, “Buzz Aldrin’s Unified Space Vision,” will begin at 7 p.m. in the Purdue Memorial Union South Ballroom. Doors open at 6:40 p.m. with first-come limited seating. The event is free and open to the public.

Professor James M. Longuski’s new book titled, “Optimal Control with Aerospace applications,” is to be published soon. The co-authors of the book are Jose J. Guzmán (Ph.D., now with Orbital Sciences) and John E. Prussing (Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign). The book is largely based out of the course (Optimization in Aerospace Engineering) Professor Longuski teaches at Purdue University. The book is pubished by Springer and the details of the book can be seen on Amazon.com