Peck’s long-term research objectives focus on what next-generation space-system design: spacecraft that exploit physics, particularly rigid and flexible dynamics at many length scales, to achieve innovative and surprising missions. His work represents initial steps toward the creation of a new field: a fusion of dynamical systems and systems engineering, two disciplines that are rarely considered in the same context. Innovation in space systems takes some courage; the industry and government environment is conservative. Risk aversion encourages a focus on short-term engineering products. However, research is characterized by emerging areas. A practical challenge for Peck’s work is therefore to establish these emerging areas as sufficiently low in risk that funding sources find them appealing.


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