Samira Motiwala

Samira Motiwala

Institute Astrodynamicist

Asteroid Institute


Samira started her career at Skybox/Google Terra Bella (now Planet) as a satellite flight operator and developer in missions operations. She migrated to flight dynamics, building experience in maneuver planning, trajectory analysis, and collision avoidance. She is continuing to build her career in both astrodynamics and software development and is deeply passionate about space exploration and automating satellite operations.

Samira’s interests are deep-space trajectory design and analysis, maneuver planning, orbit determination, and collision avoidance. Her goal is to build more robust, efficient, and reliable systems for complex orbit propagation and trajectory analysis through software automation. She was initially interested in asteroid research during her time as an intern at NASA Ames, where she investigated and published a paper on assessing the asteroid threat with a preliminary integrated physics-based risk model. She holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Cal Poly & an M.S. in Aero/Astro from Stanford University, with an emphasis on control systems and orbital dynamics.