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Alena Probst

Photo of Alena Probst


4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
M/S 183-601
Pasadena, CA 91109



Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Small Bodies


Alena is a Post-Doc at JPL on the trajectory design for planetary entry probes of missions to the giant planets. She completed her Master’s degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Stuttgart and her doctoral degree in space technology at the Bundeswehr University in Munich. She graduated on the mission architecture of an asteroid mining mission in the main belt, focusing on the optimization of target sequences of a multi body encounter mission.


  • PhD in Space Systems Engineering on Mission and Trajectory Design for a Multi-Body Encounter Mission for an Asteroid Mining Mission in the Main Belt

Professional Experience

  • 09 / 2019 – present: NASA Postdoctoral Fellow at JPL, Pasadena (CA, USA)
  • 06 / 2019 – 09 / 2019: Project Manager and Systems Engineer for Deployable Dragsails, HPS Gmbh, Munich (Germany)
  • 01 / 2019 – 06 / 2019: Post-Doc at the Institute of Space Technology and Space Applications, Bundeswehr University Munich (Germany)

Research Interests

  • Systems Engineering for Interplanetary Space Missions
  • Mission Architecture for Science Missions to the Outer Planets
  • Planetary and Space Sciences

Selected Awards

  • 2019 IPPW Conference Attendance Scholarship
  • 2017 DAAD Conference Travel Award for Outstanding Researchers
  • 2015 ZONTA International Amelia Earhart Fellowship 2015-2016

Selected Publications

  • Vertical controlled landing on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, A. Probst et al., Planetary and Space Science, 192, 105020, 2020.
  • Cost Estimation of an Asteroid Mining Mission using Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM), A. Probst et al., Acta Astronautica, 167, p.440-454, 2020.
  • Optimization of Target Sequences for a Multiple Encounter Mission in the Context of Main Belt Asteroid Mining, A. Probst, PhD thesis, 2019.
  • Spacecraft of a Multiple Asteroid Orbiter with Re-Docking Lander, A. Probst and R. Förstner, Advances in Space Research, vol. 62, iss. 8, pp. 2021-2040, 2018.
  • Mission Concept Selection for an Asteroid Mining Mission, A. Probst et al., Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 88 No. 3, pp.458-470, 2016.