This is a partial list of missions I've worked on, together with students and collaborators, in the last 15 years. The missions are divided in three groups, based on the leading or participating space agency. (JAXA or NASA or ESA). Please contact me for more details, or look in the publication page.


  • Mars Moons Sample Return

    OBJECTIVE : Phobos/Deimos
    STATUS : Pre-approved
    OUR CONTRIBUTION: Trajectory design and optimization (2015-)

    This is a new exciting planned mission from JAXA. One spacecraft will be launched in the early 2020s and collect a sample from one of the moons of Mars, and collect remote data on the other moon. Stay tuned for updates!


    OBJECTIVE : Tech. Demo. (First Deep-space Micro-satellite)
    AGENCY : The University of Tokyo, ISAS/JAXA
    STATUS : Flying!!
    OUR CONTRIBUTION: Trajectory design, optimization, and implementation; guidance. (2014-)

    PROCYON was launched as auxiliary payload of HIIA with Hayabusa 2 on Dec. 3rd, 2014. It is a tech-demo mission, testing bus and operations of a micro-spacecraft in deep space. It is the first micro-satellite to fly in deep-space. Is is also the first university satellite to fly in deep space. It is a very low-cost mission, developed in just one and a half years - from early feasibility study to launch!


    OBJECTIVE : Venus
    STATUS : Flying!!
    OUR CONTRIBUTION: Recovery trajectory design (2010)

    AKATSUKI was launched in 2010 and was planned to enter into Venus orbit in Dec of the same year. However, a malfunctioning of the main engine resulted in a failed orbit insertion. We designed the recovery trajectory using the innovative non-tangent VILT (V-Infinity Leveraging Transfer). AKATSUKI will attempt a new orbit insertion at Venus in Dec. 2015!


    OBJECTIVE : Tech. Demo. (Moon flyby and Sun-Earth Halo Orbit)
    STATUS : Proposed
    OUR CONTRIBUTION: Trajectory Design and Optimization (2012-)
    DESTINY is a tech-demo mission for a bus system that would provide access to deep-space for future low-to-mid-cost Japanese missions. It is launched by the low-cost EPSILON rocket; it uses low-thrust prolusions powered by solar panels to increase the apogee, and several low-energy lunar flybys to escape the Earth gravity.

  • CMEsat

    OBJECTIVE : TechDemo (interplantery cubesat)/ Interplanetary CMEs
    AGENCY : The university of Tokyo and ISAS/JAXA
    STATUS : Pre-phase A (ongoing)
    OUR CONTRIBUTION: Mission concept (2014-)
    CMEsat is an interplanetary cubesat to study large scale structures of interplanetary coronal mass ejection. The early mission concept was developed as a brain-storming excercise with colleagues from JAXA, JPL and Imperial College.

  • NASA participation / lead

  • Europa missions / CLIPPER

    OBJECTIVE : Europa
    AGENCY : Caltech/JPL and APL
    STATUS : Phase A
    OUR CONTRIBUTION: Trajectory design and optimization (mainly 2010-2011)

    Missions to Europa have been proposed for the last 20 years - ever since the evidence for a water ocean was found by Galileo spacecraft. We worked on the latest incarnations of the Europa Missions, which include a lander option, an orbiter option, and a flyby-only options. The flyby option evolved into the CLIPPER spacecraft, currently under study by JPL and APL .

  • Enceladus Orbiter

    OBJECTIVE : Enceladus
    AGENCY : Caltech/JPL
    STATUS : Pre-phase A study
    OUR CONTRIBUTION: Trajectory design (mainly 2009)
    After Cassini spacecraft discovered water-vapor plums on Enceladus, scientist are now eager to place a spacecraft in orbit around Saturn's moon. Enceladus has very low gravity, however, and is located deep inside Saturn's gravity well. The Enceladus orbiter wad enabled by a new astrodynamics technique, non-tangent VILT, which was also used a few years later to recover AKATSUKI, JAXA's Venus orbiter. The new technique was praised in the last Decadal Survey as an example of how astrodynamics can enable deep-space missions.

    ESA participation / lead


    OBJECTIVE : Mercury
    STATUS : Implementation phase (launch 2017)
    OUR CONTRIBUTION: Trajectory design and optimization, incl. Gravitational Capture (2002-2005)
    BepiColombo is ESA's next Cornerstone Mission, and will be launched in 2017. It is a very complex mission that underwent several design cycles for almost 20 years. We worked on early trajectory options , and introduce the use of the Gravitational Capture - a Mercury arrival trajectory that exploits the complex dynamics in the Sun-Mercury system for a more efficient and robust orbit insertion.


    OBJECTIVE : Ganymede
    STATUS : Approved
    OUR CONTRIBUTION: Support to the design of the low-energy approach and capture (mainly 2009)
    JUICE is the ESA mission to Ganymede, which is planned to launch in 2022. JUICE is enabled by our Tisserand-Leveraging transfers, which are optimal, low-energy transfers that exploits the Ganymede-Jupiter dynamics to attain a very-low-cost capture

    Neptune-Triton Mission

    OBJECTIVE : Neptune orbiter with multiple Triton flybys
    STATUS : Short study completed (White-paper study for ESA L2-L3 science theme call)
    OUR CONTRIBUTION: Strawman mission concept (2013)
    The Neptune-Triton Mission was a strawman mission concept which was submitted to ESA, following the agency call for defining new science themes for planetary exploration. The study focused on enabling technologies, with a preference towards those with high TRL, with the aim of focusing the required technology development in the fewest area.