Zac Manchester Engineer, Rocket Scientist, Spacecraft Hacker



  1. Z. Manchester and S. Kuindersma. “Robust Direct Trajectory Optimization Using Approximate Invariant Funnels,” Autonomous Robots, In Review.

  2. J. Lipton, R. MacCurdy, Z. Manchester, L. Chin, D. Celluci, and D. Rus. “Handedness in Shearing Auxetics for Rigid and Compliant Structures,” Science, To Appear.

Journal Papers

  1. Z. Manchester and A. Loeb. “Stability Of A Light Sail Riding On A Laser Beam,” The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 837, No. 2, 2017.

  2. Z. Manchester and M. Peck. “Quaternion Variational Integrators for Spacecraft Dynamics,” AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2016, pp. 69–76.

Conference Papers

  1. Z. Manchester and S. Kuindersma. “Variational Contact-Implicit Trajectory Optimization,” International Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR), Puerto Varas, Chile, December 11-14, 2017.

  2. B. Plancher, Z. Manchester, and S. Kuindersma. “Constrained Unscented Dynamic Programming,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), September 24-28, 2017.

  3. Z. Manchester and S. Kuindersma. “DIRTREL: Robust Nonlinear Direct Transcription with Ellipsoidal Disturbances and LQR Feedback,” Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS), Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 12-16, 2017.

  4. J. Lipton, Z. Manchester, and D. Rus. “Planning Cuts for Mobile Robots with Bladed Tools,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Singapore, May 29 - June 3, 2017.

  5. Z. Manchester, J. Lipton, R. Wood, and S. Kuindersma. “A Variable-Sweep Wing Design for Enhanced Perching in Micro Aerial Vehicles,” 55th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Grapevine, Texas, January 9-13, 2017.

  6. Z. Manchester and M. Peck. “Recursive Inertia Estimation with Semidefinite Programming,” AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, Grapevine, Texas, January 9-13, 2017.

  7. Z. Manchester and S. Kuindersma. “Derivative-Free Trajectory Optimization with Unscented Dynamic Programming,” IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, Las Vegas, Nevada, December 12-14, 2016.

  8. Z. Manchester. “Lyapunov-Based Control for Flat-Spin Recovery and Spin Inversion of Spin-Stabilized Spacecraft,” AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Long Beach, California, September 13-16, 2016.

  9. Z. Manchester, M. Peck, and A. Filo. “KickSat: A Crowd-Funded Mission To Demonstrate The World’s Smallest Spacecraft,” AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites. Logan, Utah. August 12-16, 2013.

  10. Z. Manchester and M. Peck. “Stochastic Space Exploration with Microscale Spacecraft,” AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference. Portland, Oregon. August 8-11, 2011.

  11. J. Atchison, Z. Manchester, and M. Peck. “Microscale Atmospheric Reentry Sensors,” 7th International Planetary Probe Workshop. Barcelona, Spain. June 14-18, 2010.


  1. Z. Manchester. “Centimeter Scale Spacecraft: Design, Fabrication, and Deployment,” Ph.D. Dissertation. Cornell University. Ithaca, NY. August, 2015.


  1. Z. Manchester. “How Do You Fly to Alpha Centauri in Just 20 Years? Ride a Laser Beam,” IEEE Spectrum, June 6, 2016.

  2. Z. Manchester. “KickSat: Bringing Space to the Masses,” CQ VHF Magazine. Vol. 17, No. 3. pp. 32-38. 2013.

  3. Z. Manchester. “Measurement and Analysis of the Capacitance of Charged Objects in a Plasma with Applications to Lorentz-Actuated Spacecraft,” M.Eng. Report. Cornell University. Ithaca, NY. May, 2010.