ASTRA (Advanced Space TRansit and Architectures) Lab was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY in 2020 to study spacecraft propulsion technology and architectures that enable interplanetary exploration. Our research spans spacecraft electric propulsion, flight science-focused missions, small satellites, and missions with planetary science objectives.
We are on the cusp of revolutionizing space exploration from one-off monolith satellites to new-age distributed and multi-functional systems. On-board propulsion architectures will play a critical role in this revolution.
Some related fields that we believe will enable this new age in exploration are maneuverable small satellites (e.g. satellites with propulsion on-board), in-situ resource utilization and refueling on orbit, and building collaborations at the university-level between science and engineers here at Cornell University and beyond.