Kenny Getzandanner

Kenny Getzandanner

Graduate Research Assistant

University of Maryland

NASA GSFC

Kenny Getzandanner is a part-time PhD student in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. Working with Dr. John Martin in the Machine Learning for Dynamical Systems lab, he is investigating Deep Reinforcement Learning applications for spacecraft navigation and autonomy. In addition to his studies, Kenny has supported multiple operational missions, mission proposals, and technology development efforts since 2009 as a member of the Navigation & Mission Design Branch at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He helped collect and return pristine samples of an asteroid as a flight dynamics analyst and lead for the OSIRIS-REx mission, and is the lead flight dynamics engineer for Space Science Mission Operations at GSFC. Kenny received the NASA Early Career Achievement Medal in 2013 and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2020. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State and the University of Maryland, respectively. Outside of work and school, Kenny enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, especially at a baseball game or on the Chesapeake Bay. He also enjoys cooking and baking fresh loaves of bread.

Interests
  • Machine/Reinforcement Learning for Spacecraft Autonomy
  • Astrodynamics
  • Orbit Determination
  • Geophysical Parameter Estimation
  • Optical Navigation Image Processing
  • Terrain-Relative Navigation & Mapping
  • Small Body & Interplanetary Navigation
  • Spacecraft Operations
Education
  • MS in Aerospace Engineering

    University of Maryland

  • BS in Aerospace Engineering

    Pennsylvania State University