GAMMA: Space Exploration Lander

Scientists think the most likely places to find extraterrestrial life in our solar system are the moons of Saturn and Jupiter — hundreds of millions of miles away from Earth. Creating an interplanetary lander that can travel extreme distances in the harsh conditions of space presents a massive challenge. Autodesk and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory teamed up to explore new approaches to design and manufacturing processes for space exploration, applying generative-design technology.

I was fortunate enough to lead a multi-disciplinary team at Autodesk through the software prototyping, design, and manufacture of the concept lander. Every kilogram of mass that can be cut from the structural payload enables a critical increase in scientific instruments that can be launched. GAMMA leverages generative design and advanced manufacturing to achieve a mass reduction of 35% for the main structural component of the lander, compared to a conventional design.

GAMMA is the most complex generative design to date, meeting some of the most rigorous engineering standards to answer one of the grandest challenges – the discovery of life beyond earth.

Created by: Karl Willis, Daniele Grandi, Andreas Bastian, Arthur Harsuvanakit, John Schmier, Mark Davis, Raul Polit Casillas, Rafael Martinez, Christine Gebara, Tom Cwik

Awards: Best Design - North America Finalist / Experimental Finalist / Mobility Finalist, Fast Company Innovation by Design Awards 2019, Strategy & Research Award Runner Up / Transportation Award Notable, Core77 Design Awards 2019, Best Prototype or Innovation, American Foundry Society Casting of the Year Award 2019 (cast by TEI).

Selected Press: Fast Company, BBC, The Verge, Modern Machine Shop,

Space Exploration Lander Concept Image

Space Exploration Lander Casting

Space Exploration Lander Machining

Space Exploration Lander Inspection

Space Exploration Lander Assembly

Space Exploration Lander Assembly

Space Exploration Lander Assembly

Space Exploration Lander Interna; Structure and Payloads

Space Exploration Lander Assembly

Space Exploration Lander Exhibition at AU 2018