Joe Cassady is Aerojet Rocketdyne's Executive Director for Space in the company’s Washington Operations. He is responsible for strategy and capture activities related to many of the company’s NASA programs, including: the Space Launch System (SLS); the propulsion system for the Orion deep space capsule; Commercial Crew propulsion and power systems; advanced electric propulsion; International Space System (ISS) power system, as well as AFRL and DARPA programs. He also is involved with research activities for next-generation space technology, including additive manufacturing, advanced materials, non-toxic propellants, modular propulsion for small satellites, and nuclear propulsion and power technology efforts.
Mr Cassady joined Aerojet in 1985 and was appointed to his present position in June 2013. Previously, he served in various Engineering and Business Development positions related to advanced propulsion for missiles and spacecraft. He began his career at the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory at Edwards AFB, where he performed research into the acceleration mechanisms of Magneto Plasma Dynamic (MPD) thrusters as part of an AFOSR graduate program. After graduation, Mr. Cassady continued his research at the AFRPL, where he helped to create the in-house Electric Propulsion Laboratory (EPL). He earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the Purdue University. He is the recipient of several technical awards from Aerojet Rocketdyne and outside organizations. Mr. Cassady has authored or co-authored more than 50 papers dealing with mission design, space architectures, and propulsion technology and its applications and holds four patents for electric propulsion technologies. His professional affiliations included the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, where he is an Associate Fellow; the American Astronautical Society; and the Electric Rocket Propulsion Society, where he serves as Vice President. He also serves on the board of ExploreMars, Inc., an organization dedicated to education, STEM activities and outreach related to the exploration of Mars.