Shyam Bhaskaran photo

Shyam Bhaskaran

Supervisor, Outer Planet Navigation Group, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

B.S. ASE 1985, The University of Texas at Austin
M.S. ASE 1987, The University of Texas at Austin
Ph.D. ASE 1991, University of Colorado Boulder

Shyam Bhaskaran is the supervisor of the Outer Planet Navigation Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He leads a group of 17 engineers responsible for the navigation of spacecraft that explore the outer Solar System. His research interests include advanced navigation techniques such as spacecraft autonomous navigation.

Bhaskaran received his bachelor of science and master of science degrees in aerospace engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado.

His professional career began at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in January of 1992 as an orbit determination specialist on the Galileo mission. Since then, he has been a member of the navigation team for several missions, including Deep Space 1 and Mars Odyssey, and led many others, including the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, EPOXI, the NASA components of the European Mars Express and Rosetta, and the Japanese Hayabusa missions. He served as the Team Chief for Guidance, Navigation, and Control, overseeing the successful navigation of the Stardust, Genesis, and Deep Impact missions. 

Bhaskaran has been involved in formulating proposals for new mission concepts and developing innovative new technologies. He is a principal architect of a deep space autonomous navigation system, first demonstrated on the Deep Space 1 spacecraft and later adapted for the Stardust, NExT, Deep Impact, and EPOXI missions. He has been the PI or co-I on a range of technology development efforts such as high speed kinetic asteroid impactors, terrain relative navigation, small body shape modeling, and precision autonomous navigation across the Solar System. He has more than 40 publications in refereed journals and conference proceedings.

He has served on the UT Austin ASE/EM External Advisory Board, the American Astronautical Society Technical Committee, and the Standing Review Board for the OSIRIS-REx mission. His honors include two NASA Exceptional Achievement Medals, 20 NASA Group Achievement Awards, and a NASA Space Act Award.

Bhaskaran lives in Glendale, California, with his wife, Hillary, and their daughters, Sarah and Sonia.