Will Marshall

Will Marshall
Staff Scientist, USRA/NASA


William Marshall is based in the Small Spacecraft Office at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California. His work at NASA centres on two areas, low cost satellites and orbital space debris. His two principle projects are: (1) PhoneSat – an ultra low cost satellite bus which leverages smartphone technology; and (2) LightForce – a scheme to remediate the orbital debris challenge using photon pressure to nudge debris to prevent debris-debris collisions. Prior to these projects he helped to develop other small sat missions including: on the science team of LCROSS mission which verified large quantities of water at the lunar south pole; a systems engineer on LADEE mission; and a system’s engineer on the Hover Test Vehicle. He has published over 30 scientific articles (including in Science, PRL, ASR); and has written several op-eds (including in the New York Times).

He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Oxford, U.K., where his thesis centred on an experimental proposal to create macroscopic mass quantum superposition states. He conducted two years of his research at the University of California in Santa Barbara. He holds a degree in Physics with Space Science and Technology (MPhys) from the University of Leicester, UK. He has held placements at the European Space Agency, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Marshall Space Flight Center and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) in London.

Will also serves on the Governance Group of the Space Security Index research project and also previously held positions of Postdoctoral Fellow at both the Space Policy Institute (SPI) of the George Washington University and the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. In these capacities Will published on strategic benefits and costs of the deployment of space weapons and more broadly the increasingly important role that space is playing in global security issues. Will also served as the Global co-Chair of the Space Generation Advisory Council to the United Nations Programme on Space Applications (SGAC), which represents the views of students and young professionals interested in space to the UN and space agencies around the world.


Keynote Grand Ballroom A
Will Marshall (USRA/NASA)
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A Nexus One has a GPS, compass, antennas and the processing power necessary for orbit. When you factor in that it is several orders of magnitude cheaper than anything else up there you can understand why there's so much excitement around putting Android into space. Will Marshall of NASA is gong to talk about their latest work on this front. He'll later be at the Mini-Maker faire. Read more.
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