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Joe Cassady, Exec Director for Space
Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies Company

Mr. Cassady is the Executive Director of Space Programs in the Washington DC Operations for Aerojet Rocketdyne where he helps oversee strategy development and architectures for future space and launch systems. He obtained his BS (1981) and MS (1983) in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University as well as a Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering at the George Washington University in 2005.  His current interest areas include architectures for human missions to Mars, Space Mobility and Logistics (SML) and space debris remediation. Mr. Cassady holds five U.S. Patents for Electric Propulsion (EP) technology.

He has four decades of experience in propulsion development, flight operations, mission architecture and systems analysis. He has authored more than 70 technical papers dealing with EP, power and attitude control systems and mission analysis and recently co-authored a textbook, Rocket Propulsion, with Professors Heister, Anderson, and Pourpoint of Purdue University. Prior to joining the Aerojet Rocketdyne Washington office, Mr. Cassady led flight project teams for the 26 kWe ESEX arcjet system (which still holds the record as the highest power EP system flown) and the EO-1 Pulsed Plasma Thruster system.

In addition, he has served on a number of advisory groups for NASA and the DoD.  He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA, is vice-president of the Electric Rocket Propulsion Society and serves as Executive Vice President and member of  the Board of Directors for ExploreMars, a 501c(3) non-profit dedicated to promoting STEM and human Mars exploration. In 2021, he was named as an Outstanding Aerospace Engineer by the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue and he was elected as a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics in 2022.  It is his lifelong goal to see humans join their robotic precursors on the surface of the Red Planet.

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