The optimal control of flexible structures is an active area of research. The main body of work in this area is concerned with the control of time-dependent displacements and stresses, and assumes linear elastic conditions, namely linear elastic material behavior and small defor- tion. See, e. g. , -, the collections of papers [4, 5], and references therein. On the other hand, in the present paper we consider the static optimal control of a structure made of a nonlinear elastic material and und- going large deformation. An important application is the suppression of static or quasi-static elastic deformation in flexible space structures such as parts of satellites by the use of control loads . Solar rad- tion and radiation from other sources induce a temperature field in the structure, which in turn generates an elastic displacement field. The displacements must usually satisfy certain limitations dictated by the allowed working conditions of various orientation-sensitive instruments and antennas in the space vehicle. For example, a parabolic reflector may cease to be effective when undergoing large deflection. The elastic deformation can be reduced by use of control loads, which may be imp- mented via mechanically-based actuators or more modern piezoelectric devices. When the structure under consideration is made of a rubb- like material and is undergoing large deformation, nonlinear material and geometric effects must be taken into account in the analysis.