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Melanie Grande

Title: Aerospace Engineer, SMAB Team Deputy Lead, Mars Architecture Team

Technical Focus Area: Aerospace Systems Analysis and Systems-of-Systems Engineering

Missions/Projects: Mars Architecture Team (MAT)

Study Topics/Expertise: Aerospace Systems Engineering, Systems-of-Systems Engineering, Decision Analysis, Mission Modeling and Analysis, Human Space Exploration, Public Policy, DEIA

Since joining NASA, Melanie has contributed to design and planning for human exploration of both the Moon and Mars. Melanie currently is a member of the Mars Architecture Team (MAT) within the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate (ESDMD), where she works on architecture decision modeling, evaluating alternatives for architecture and mission design, and establishing a process for exploration architecture decision-making with cross-agency collaboration. Additionally, she serves as the local deputy lead for the SMAB MAT team, helping to manage the team’s portfolio, plan tasks, and foster cross-team coordination and collaboration.

Melanie is a member of the AIAA Public Policy Committee, where she Co-Chairs the Advocacy Working Group to organize aerospace advocacy events like Congressional Visits Day. She is also a member and past leader of NASA Langley’s Allies and Advocates for Women (A2W) employee resource group.


  • Silver Achievement Medal, 2019
  • NASA Group Achievement Award: Mars Basis of Comparison Reference Team, 2019
  • NASA Group Achievement Award: NextSTEP-2 Habitation Systems BAA Team, 2019

Education/Professional Experience

  • M.S., Aeronautics & Astronautics, Purdue University, 2020
  • B.S., Aeronautics & Astronautics, Purdue University, 2017


  • Hayward, E., Wong, I., Siochi, E., Silbernagel, S., Barkhurst, M., Moses, R., Waltz, W., & Grande, M. (2022). Design Analysis for Lunar Safe Haven Concepts. AIAA SciTech Forum 2022.
  • Wong, I. M., Siochi, E. J., Grande, M. L., Moses, R. W., Waltz, W. J., Silbernagel, S. R., Hayward, E. G., & Barkhurst, M. E. (2022). Design Analysis for Lunar Safe Haven Concepts. AIAA SCITECH 2022 Forum, 1567.
  • Waltz, W. J., Grande, M. L., & Moses, R. W. (2022). Autonomous System Operations for Lunar Safe Haven Establishment and Sustainment. AIAA SCITECH 2022 Forum, 2075.
  • Grande, M. L., Moses, R. W., Cosgrove, P. A., Mueller, R. P., Prater, T. J., & Blanchard, A. J. (2021). Protecting Crew and Surface Systems with a Long-Duration Lunar Safe Haven. AIAA ASCEND 2021, 4070.
  • Clark, M. A., Pensado, A., Jones, C. A., Grande, M. L., & Judd, E. (2021). How the Allocation of Lander Functions Impacts Human Lunar Exploration Architecture Propellant Demands. AIAA Scitech 2021 Forum, 0627.
  • Lanus, E., Hernandez, I., Dachowicz, A., Freeman, L. J., Grande, M., Lang, A., Panchal, J. H., Patrick, A., & Welch, S. (2021). Test and evaluation framework for multi-agent systems of autonomous intelligent agents. 2021 16th International Conference of System of Systems Engineering (SoSE), 203–209.
  • Grande, M. L., & DeLaurentis, D. A. (2021). Evaluating Designs for an On-Orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing Platform with System-of-Systems Methodologies. AIAA Scitech 2021 Forum, 0304.
  • Grande, M. L. (2020). Modeling Architectures and Parameterization of Spacecraft with Application to Persistent Platforms [Master’s thesis]. Purdue University Graduate School.
  • Grande, M., & DeLaurentis, D. (2019). SoS Characterization and Optimization Approaches for an In-Space Hotel. 2019 14th Annual Conference System of Systems Engineering (SoSE), 1–6.
  • Guariniello, C., Grande, M., Brand, C., Durbin, L., Dai, M., Das-Stuart, A., Alexander, R. A., Howell, K., & DeLaurentis, D. (2019). Quantifying the impact of systems interdependencies in space systems architectures. International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2019, MSFC-E-DAA-TN74200.
  • Earle, K. D., Carrier, M., Cirillo, W., Grande, M. L., Jones, C. A., Judd, E., Klovstad, J. J., Owens, A. C., Reeves, D., & Stafford, M. (2018). Strategic Framework for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. 2018 AIAA SPACE and Astronautics Forum and Exposition, 5136.
  • Grande, M. L., Carrier, M., Cirillo, W., Earle, K. D., Jones, C. A., Judd, E., Klovstad, J. J., Owens, A. C., Reeves, D., & Stafford, M. (2018). Mega-Drivers to Inform NASA Space Technology Strategic Planning. 2018 AIAA SPACE and Astronautics Forum and Exposition, 5137.
  • Arney, D. C., Earle, K. D., Cirillo, W., Jones, C. A., Klovstad, J., Grande, M., & Stromgren, C. (2017). The Impact of Mission Duration on a Mars Orbital Mission. AIAA SPACE and Astronautics Forum and Exposition, 5284.

Virtual Presentations

Rock climbing, hiking, travel, crafting, scrapbooking, cats