Margarita Marinova

Senior Engineer and Planetary Scientist

Role: Associate

Sites: CDL-Atlanta, CDL-Paris, CDL-Toronto

Stream: Space

Margarita Marinova is passionate about space and planetary exploration and human missions to Mars, both from the science and engineering perspectives. She has worked to leverage science and technology to further humanity’s reach into our Solar System, improve launch vehicle capabilities and reusability, gain a deeper understanding of the Earth and its planetary neighbours, and apply these advancements to improve life on Earth.

Margarita received her bachelor’s in aerospace engineering from MIT, and a PhD in planetary sciences from Caltech. She has worked at Airbus Space Propulsion in engine nozzle research and development and at NASA Ames Research Center as a planetary scientist studying Mars analogue environments. Margarita was at SpaceX from 2013 to 2020 where she held positions of propulsion systems responsible engineer, vehicle responsible engineer, senior Mars development engineer, and worked on projects including the vertical takeoff and landing F9R-Dev vehicle, Falcon 9 Full Thrust, and its development, reusability. There, she also worked on the Starship vehicle design and mission architectures.

Margarita has been on the Committee for Planetary Protection for the National Academy of Sciences since 2020. From 2021 to 2022, she was the integration and test senior manager for Amazon’s Project Kuiper. She’s continuing to focus on a variety of projects in aerospace engineering and planetary exploration as an independent consultant.