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PROGRAM

More than a program, ASCEND is a mission

At ASCEND, every conversation furthers our exploration.

Each program morning starts with a visionary “Macro” session that sets the stage for the day’s discussions. Macro sessions ask the big questions, confront the big challenges and offer big-picture visions of the off-world future.

Macro sessions launch the “Meta” phase of the program, the search for pathways to achieve the vision. If Macro sessions ask “What?,” Meta sessions respond with “What if…?”

Which, of course, leads to “Now what?” Following the strategic direction of the Meta session, the “Micro” ASCEND Technical and Collaborative sessions are where input turns to outcomes. Fueled by a mix of published research and interactive discussions, the process opens our eyes and sharpens our focus.

Explore the full program now with new speakers and session details for the Macro and Meta sessions being added as they are confirmed. Start plotting your trajectory to 2021 ASCEND!

Macro
Meta
Micro

Macro/Meta Schedule

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0800 - 0900 hrs
ONLINE EVERYWHERE

META-1: Welcome to ASCEND!

Join AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher and ASCEND Executive Producer Rob Meyerson, along with select members of the Guiding Coalition, for a look back on the past year and a look forward to what’s to come at ASCEND.

PANELIST

Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno
Director of Staff, Headquarters,
U.S. Space Force

PANELIST

Dan Dumbacher 2021 ASCEND 2

Dan Dumbacher
Executive Director, AIAA

PANELIST

Rob Meyerson 2021ASCEND1

Rob Meyerson
Founder & CEO, Delalune Space;
and Operating Partner, C5 Capital

0800 – 0900 hrs
ONLINE EVERYWHERE

META-2: The Space Economy – Post COVID-19

There is both good news and bad news in describing the space economy and COVID impacts. We’ve seen a massive increase in space funding, record-breaking satellite deployments, and many firsts. We also have seen a pandemic-driven slowdown in aviation and maritime activities, the energy industry’s use of satellite telecom, and knock-on impacts on major defense contractors. Panelists will cover the state of manufacturing, services, launch, and new technology, inventorying the effects of COVID-19 across all space sectors.

MODERATOR

Carissa Christensen
CEO, BryceTech

PANELIST

Patricia Cooper
Consultant, former Satellite Government Affairs, SpaceX; and President, SIA

PANELIST

Samer Halawi 2021 ASCEND

Samer Halawi
EVP & Chief Commercial Officer, Intelsat

PANELIST

Gerry Jansson
Director, Telesat

0915 – 1015 hrs

Fireside Chat: Ben Gilbert and Rob Meyerson

Join Ben Gilbert and Rob Meyerson, Executive Producer of ASCEND, for a discussion about the growing space economy, transformational technologies, and what makes a space company “investible.”

MODERATOR

Ben Gilbert,
Co-Host, Acquired, and Co-Founder,
Pioneer Square Labs

PANELIST

Rob Meyerson 2021ASCEND1

Rob Meyerson
Executive Producer, ASCEND; and former President, Blue Origin

1030 – 1130 hrs

The New Paradigm: Navigating the Post-Pandemic Aerospace Workforce

With the recent reinvigoration of the space domain over the last 10 years, the aerospace workforce has been growing and changing exponentially. COVID-19 has presented a roadblock on the promising direction of our field, with the ramifications to early and mid-career professionals still being determined. How has finding a job or moving careers changed in the new realm of online interactions and social distancing? How will new methods of job searching and personal interaction persist into the next decade? How do we make meaningful connections and work relations with people we may never see beyond a computer screen? Join us for a discussion on the post-pandemic aerospace workforce and how to leverage the new workplace environment to best jump-start your career.

MODERATOR

Alexis Harroun ASCEND2021 1

Alexis Harroun
Graduate Research Fellow,
Purdue University - Aeronautics
and Astronautics

PANELIST

Elaine Petro
Consultant, Assistant Professor, Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Cornell University

PANELIST

Heather Nelson
Senior Manager, University Relations, Blue Origin

0915 – 1245 hrs

Micro Sessions

0830 – 0930 hrs
ONLINE EVERYWHERE

META-3: Space as a Critical Infrastructure

Terrestrial logistics systems are the backbone of the global economy and the seedbed for new markets. For example, the shipping container revolutionized the transport of goods and gave rise to globalization of trade. There is no in-space logistics infrastructure today, but the technology is there to create one. Such an infrastructure is required to facilitate the flow of commodities (fuel, components, etc.) enabling a transformation to serviceable and sustainable space systems to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

0915 – 1245 hrs

Micro Sessions

0800 - 0900 hrs
LIVE IN LAS VEGAS + ONLINE + DC

MACRO 1: Building Worlds That Do Not Yet Exist

Have you ever wondered if we, as the greater collective, are thinking big enough for space? Discover the futures that don’t yet exist, how incredible creators and visionaries bring their ideas into reality, and the value that such efforts can bring to drive progress. Because if we can’t dream it, we can’t get there. Let’s explore together how to imagine untapped opportunities and turn those dreams into tangible images of the future as a catalyst for accelerating growth and delivering greater value for the space enterprise!

MODERATOR

Ariel Ekblaw ASCEND2021 1

Ariel Ekblaw
Director, MIT Space Exploration Initiative, MIT Media Lab

0915 - 1015 hrs

META-4: Public–Private Partnerships: When One Shoe Doesn’t Fit All

Public–Private Partnerships (PPP) have been in use in the United States almost since the nation was founded and in aviation and space for decades – driving industry forward, introducing innovation, and reducing costs. At the same time, they are not a panacea and sometimes fail, leaving the government to step in to clean up the mess. NASA’s recent efforts to utilize PPPs for human spaceflight systems are modeled on success with the Commercial Crew and Cargo Program that benefitted from an existing launch market with well-established customer demand. Is this the appropriate model for PPPs under conditions of uncertain demand, in LEO or deep space? Are PPPs still a meaningful construct in those circumstances, or are the rules, incentives, and risk management approach governing the relationship more important? This session will go beyond the “PPP soundbite” to explore different models across various types of markets and incentives.

MODERATOR

Mary Lynne Dittmar
EVP, Axiom Space

PANELIST

Jack Donohue
Raymond Vernon Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, Kennedy School,
Harvard University

PANELIST

Dan Dumbacher 2021 ASCEND 2

Dan Dumbacher
Executive Director, AIAA

PANELIST

Henry Hertzfeld
Research Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University

PANELIST

Douglas Hallett ASCEND

Doug Hollett
former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

0915 – 1015 hrs

META-5: Optimism for Earth

The user and producers of Earth observation data for climate and sustainability solutions are increasing rapidly. The data are being used to create increasing resilience to climate change. The panel will address why they are hopeful for the future by discussing major achievements in climate and sustainability solutions, and also how they see hope at all levels – within the community, government, international partnerships, industry, and even individually – acting, adapting, and inspiring. Although Earth faces serious natural resource and environmental challenges, the panelists see hope at all levels every day, and it will take a cross section of action through thousands of individuals to reverse course and create a healthier planet for the next generation.

MODERATOR

Ellen Stofan
Under Secretary for Science and Research, Smithsonian Institution

PANELIST

Ved Chirayath
Director, Laboratory for Advanced Sensing (LAS), Earth Science Division, NASA Ames Research Center

PANELIST

Chelle Gentemann 2021ASCEND 1

Chelle Gentemann
Senior Scientist, Farallon Institute, and Co-Chair, National Academies’ Report on Open Source Software Policy Option for NASA Earth and Space Sciences

PANELIST

Andrew Zolli
Vice President, Sustainability and Global Impact, Planet Labs, LLC

PANELIST

Raj Pandya
Director, Thriving Earth Exchange, American Geophysical Union

0915 – 1015 hrs

META-6: Space Domain Awareness: Preparing for the Future

Technology is advancing rapidly and can be employed to help solve some of the challenges of managing an increasingly crowded space domain. Industry is driving innovations that improve accuracy and timeliness of information, improving the potential of direct operator-to-operator coordination and collaboration about managing potential collisions. How can the state of the technology and the pace of the innovation inform norms of behavior and rules of engagement that operator/owners should adhere to and what is the government’s role?

MODERATOR

Dave Goldstein
Principal Guidance, Navigation and Control Engineer, SpaceX

PANELIST

John Guiney
Vice President, Fleet Management Segment, OneWeb

PANELIST

Dan Ceperley
CEO and Co-Founder, LeoLabs

PANELIST

Melanie Stricklan ASCEND

Melanie Stricklan
CEO & Co-Founder, Slingshot Aerospace

1030 – 1130 hrs

META-7: Future of Space: GenX, GenY, and Millennials

This discussion brings together different generations and demographics to talk exploration, inspiration, and enabling our off-world future.

  • What is inspirational about space to different generations today?
  • How does the space ecosystem inspire future generations while keeping those already involved engaged?
  • What are driving visions and motivations for the future?
  • What does off-world future mean to different people?
  • What one hard problem would you want to solve today?

MODERATOR

Melissa Sampson
Senior Manager, Advanced Systems,
Ball Aerospace

PANELIST

Meagan Crawford 2021ASCEND

Meagan Crawford
Managing Partner,
SpaceFund

PANELIST

Kojo Sarkodie
Systems Engineer, Raytheon Technologies

PANELIST

Sarah Shull 2021 ASCEND

Sarah Shull
Artemis Surface Systems Integration Lead, NASA

1030 - 1130 hrs

META-8: On-Orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (OSAM): A Catalyst for Space Infrastructure

This panel will define “space infrastructure,” discuss how On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (OSAM) can enable it, and describe potential uses for that infrastructure. Panelists will discuss their vision for space infrastructure and how their organization would leverage it, as well as the steps needed to kick-start and evolve it.

MODERATOR

TBD

PANELIST

Debi Tomek
Senior Advisor, On-orbit Servicing, Assembly and Manufacturing, Space Technology Mission Directorate, NASA

1030 - 1130 hrs

META-9: The Emerging 5G Non-Terrestrial Connectivity Ecosystem

The recent emergence of high-throughput satellite mega constellations, combined with the lack of mobility support in DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) protocols, has caused DVB hub vendors and satellite manufacturers to further fragment the non-terrestrial connectivity ecosystem by implementing proprietary additions to DVB (or entirely proprietary MAC protocols). The result for network operators has been increased vendor lock-in, lower volume suppliers, higher systems integration costs, and higher total cost of ownership. Facebook and other members of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) are collaborating to accelerate the development of a new hardware and software ecosystem for space communications that can leverage the supply and production scale of 5G. Learn about this exciting initiative from industry and public sector stakeholders.

SPEAKER

Wesley Eddy
Ecosystem Manager, Facebook

1145 – 1245 hrs

Lunch Plenary: Citizen Astronauts

Since Yuri Gagarin’s historic journey to outer space in 1961, fewer than 600 humans have followed his path to the heavens. It took nearly 20 years from Dennis Tito’s flight to the International Space Station to break down the barriers to routine citizen astronaut flights to space. A host of suborbital and orbital private commercial flights are happening in 2021, accelerating access to space for citizen astronauts who have yearned to experience the overview effect and see our planet in a whole new way. Citizen astronauts will share first-hand accounts of expectations, training, flight, and post-launch experiences. Spaceflight operators and citizen astronauts will discuss what the revolution means for the future commercial markets, astronaut training, private/space agency microgravity research, and expanding launch sites around the globe.

SPEAKER

Sirisha Bandla
Vice President, Government Affairs, Virgin Galactic

1300 – 1630 hrs

Micro Sessions

1530 – 1630 hrs

Profiles in Space Innovation: Commercial Companies Taking Bold Steps Toward the Off-World Future

The future of space is already being shaped by well-known innovative companies on this planet. Hear from some of the top companies in the world about their efforts to push the boundaries of innovation with investments. What drew them into their space initiatives? What are they working to achieve? How could these efforts accelerate the space enterprise and deliver benefits to customers on Earth? How can other innovators and entrepreneurs take advantage of this new era of expanded access to space?

1830 – 2030 hrs

Dinner Plenary – Founders Panel and Thompson Lecture

The David W. Thompson Lecture in Space Commerce
The annual lecture recognizes a prominent industry leader or senior management team who has created or grown a space-related business and generated substantial economic benefits and market value. The award, sponsored and endowed by Orbital ATK Inc., commemorates the long and distinguished career of commercial space pioneer, David W. Thompson.

The Advent and Growth of Commercial Satellite Imaging

SPEAKER

Walter Scott
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Maxar

Founders Panel
Join Rob Meyerson, ASCEND Executive Producer, for our 3rd annual Founders Panel, an exploration of company origins, featuring the Thompson Lectureship award winner and several others.

MODERATOR

Rob Meyerson 2021ASCEND1

Rob Meyerson
Executive Producer, ASCEND; and former President, Blue Origin

PANELIST

Walter Scott
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer,

0800 – 0900 hrs
LIVE IN LAS VEGAS + ONLINE

MACRO-2: Arrival: Persevering into the Future

With over 100 operating and future missions, the NASA Science Mission Directorate relies on innovation with commercial and international partners, government agencies, and open science to foster a science community with voices and ideas from diverse and inclusive teams. Dr. Thaller, NASA colleagues, and partners join in a conversation about “Arrivals.” From Perseverance and Ingenuity to OSIRIS-REx and Lucy, we collectively bridge challenges and successes in technology, research, exploration, and discovery to achieve excellence through collaboration and teamwork. Together, we are inspired to think big, equip ourselves for the challenges, build the right team, and persevere.

MODERATOR

Michelle Thaller
Science Strategist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

PANELIST

MiMi Aung
former Project Manager, Mars Helicopter Ingenuity, NASA

PANELIST

Donya Douglas-Bradshaw
Lucy Project Manager, NASA

PANELIST

Sandra Freund
OSIRIS-REx Mission Operations Manager, Lockheed Martin Space

PANELIST

Jennifer Trosper
Mars Perseverance Project Manager, NASA

0915 – 1015 hrs

META-10: Orbital Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (OSAM): Future Customer: Technology Push-Pull

Imagine we are 7-10 years in the future, and the following conditions are present:

  • OSAM 1, 2, and RSGS (Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites) have successfully flown, along with other planned mission extension vehicle/mission robotic vehicle extension missions on the books
  • Humans are utilizing Gateway and back on the moon’s surface
  • Cislunar is an active destination
  • Commercial LEO destination is well on its way to realization
  • Most vehicles are now designed to be serviceable and cooperative servicing (open standards) have been adopted by the community

Given these conditions, where does the market go from here, and what are the next challenges? Customer push or pull? Technology push or pull?

MODERATOR

Carissa Christensen.2021ASCEND

Carissa Christensen
CEO, BryceTech

PANELIST

Joseph Anderson
Director, Mission Extension Vehicle Services, Northrop Grumman

PANELIST

Bhavya Lal
Senior Advisor, Budget and Finance, NASA

PANELIST

Karl Stolleis
Space Robotics and Logistics Team Lead, U.S. Space Force

PANELIST

Debi Tomek
Senior Advisor, On-orbit Servicing, Assembly and Manufacturing, Space Technology Mission Directorate, NASA

0915 – 1015 hrs

META-11: Sustainable Agriculture from Space

The dual challenges of a growing population and climate change has accelerated the need for advanced technologies that help us farm in a more sustainable way. More than ever, we need to find ways to use our resources, avoid overwatering, maximize production, and monitor our threatened species more efficiently. Explore how technologies like remote sensing, time and locations services, IoT, and satellite broadband can improve life on Earth, and also support the growth and development of our off-world future.

MODERATOR

Rei Goffer
Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Tomorrow.io

0915 – 1015 hrs

META-12: Proliferated LEO: Managing Multiple Mega-Constellations

With multiple mega-constellations planned for LEO, not only from industry, but also DoD and other countries such as China, we are rapidly reaching the point where some decisions need to be made about rules of the road, best practices, and general management. The session will address the impacts of multiple mega-constellations and factors that should be considered as the community identifies solutions.

MODERATOR

Dave Goldstein
Principal Guidance, Navigation and Control Engineer, SpaceX

PANELIST

Tory Bruno
CEO, United Launch Alliance

PANELIST

Lauri Newman
Conjunction Assessment Manager, NASA

PANELIST

Mark Mulholland
Chief Engineer, Space Traffic Management & Space Situational Awareness, Office of Space Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce

1030 – 1130 hrs

META-13: Artemis for Mars: Designing Lunar Systems for the Red Planet

Architects, mission planners, and scientists who are focused on the relatively near-term Artemis missions must build Mars concepts and systems into lunar operations. Approaches range from evolvable systems to analogous operations, to direct translations. This panel will dive into the connections that tie the moon to Mars – reducing risk, increasing affordability, and preparing for a robust lunar return – for a long-term moon-to-Mars campaign.

MODERATOR

Greg Chavers
Acting Deputy Associate Administrator, Systems Engineering and Integration, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA

PANELIST

Michelle Rucker
Mars Architecture Lead, NASA Johnson Space Center

PANELIST

Julie Robinson
Science & Utilization Lead, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA

1030 – 1130 hrs

META-14: Who Did It Best? Seven Unique Lunar Dust Mitigation Technologies, and NASA Update on Lunar Dust Mitigation Strategies

Lunar dust is one of the principal limiting factors in returning to the lunar surface for missions of any extended duration. Through its 2021 BIG Idea Challenge, NASA provided nearly $1 million in funding to seven universities for the development of unique, promising lunar dust mitigation technologies. In a Shark Tank-like pitch session, each of the seven BIG Idea Challenge awardees has five minutes to "pitch" their innovative lunar dust solutions to the audience, who will vote on the solution that has demonstrated the best enabling technology for near-term lunar missions. NASA's BIG Idea Chairman, Michael Johansen, will wrap up the session with a brief update on NASA's current investment in lunar dust mitigation strategies.

MODERATOR

Stacy Dees
BIG Idea Challenge Program Manager, National Institute of Aerospace

PANELIST

Michael Johansen
Dust Integration Manager, NASA Kennedy Space Center

1030 – 1130 hrs

META-15: Tribal Colleges and Universities Working with MILO Space Science Institute

MILO Space Science Institute will share their vision of providing affordable access to great space science by leveraging, learning, and growing space science and technology capabilities with new perspectives from tribal colleges and universities. This session will feature case studies and experiences with Salish Kootenai College and Navajo Technical University.

MODERATOR

Drew Grennell
Faculty, Salish Kootenai College

PANELIST

Abraham Meles
Assistant Professor, Navajo Technical University

PANELIST

Lindsay Papsidero
Chief Engineer, MILO Space Science Institute/Lockheed Martin Company

PANELIST

David Thomas
Executive Director, MILO Space Science Institute

PANELIST

Jim Bell
Professor, Arizona State University

1145 – 1245 hrs

Lunch Plenary: Investing in the New Space Economy

MILO Space Science Institute will share their vision of providing affordable access to great space science by leveraging, learning, and growing space science and technology capabilities with new perspectives from tribal colleges and universities. This session will feature case studies and experiences with Salish Kootenai College and Navajo Technical University.

SPEAKER

Phil Ingle
Managing Director, Morgan Stanley

Lunch Plenary: von Kármán Lecture in Astronautics

In 1975, the Institute changed the name of the von Kármán Lecture to the von Kármán Lecture in Astronautics. Honoring Theodore von Kármán, world famous authority on aerospace sciences, the von Kármán Lecture in Astronautics Award recognizes an individual who has performed notably and distinguished themself technically in the field of astronautics.

Multi-Domain Convergence of Space and Near-Space 

SPEAKER

David M. Van Wie
Head, Air and Missile Defense, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

1300 – 1730 hrs

Micro Sessions

1415 – 1515 hrs

Orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (OSAM): A Catalyst for Space Infrastructure (Roundtable)

In this roundtable discussion participants will share their thoughts on space infrastructure, On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (OSAM), and how space infrastructure can change the paradigm for space operations in the future. This discussion will allow a better understanding of the perspectives, needs, and future uses of space infrastructure.

MODERATOR

Debi Tomek
Senior Advisor, On-orbit Servicing, Assembly and Manufacturing, Space Technology Mission Directorate, NASA

1830 – 1930 hrs

Dinner Plenary: William H. Pickering Lecture

The William H. Pickering Lecture is named for the former NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director, to honor his initiation and leadership of America’s unmanned scientific space program, from Explorer I in 1958 through the development of the Viking orbiters and the Voyager outer planet and interstellar missions. The lecture is open to all attendees and the general public.

0800 – 0900 hrs
LIVE IN LAS VEGAS + ONLINE

MACRO-3: Managing Space

Space domain awareness, space situational awareness, or space traffic management – no matter what terminology we apply the global space community is urgently aware of the need for increased insight, management, and coordination of the multitude of objects that are being launched and inserted into orbits around our planet. It’s a good problem to have, illustrating the continuing breadth and depth of human engagement in space. But it is a problem we have to address NOW. Debates are ongoing about roles, responsibilities, technical solutions, and governance models; however, what does success look like? After we have progressed through the “storming and norming” phase of any new activity what is the steady-state vision for managing a crowded, vibrant orbital ecosystem?

MODERATOR

Nobu Okada ASCEND

Nobu Okada
Founder & CEO, Astroscale Holdings Inc.

0915 – 1015 hrs

META-16: Next-Generation Space Habitats

As LEO commercialization moves from cautious early entrants to a burgeoning global effort, we will need space structures built at scale – for government labs, academic research, industry R&D, and space tourism. This diversity of needs calls for architectural flexibility and opens new opportunities for next-generation habitat design. How will we build the coming generations of space architecture – the modules, spaceships, and space stations that will ensconce our spacefaring species? Can we move beyond the 20th-century paradigm of cylindrical tubes in orbit to other structures that can protect, but also inspire, humanity for our future in the near and far reaches of space? This panel will discuss cutting-edge technology and systems ideas from the fields of space architecture, space structures design, extreme-environments construction, and iconic Earth-based architecture studios to chart a path toward humanity's centuries-old ambition of living in space habitats amongst the stars.

This panel builds on an inaugural 2020 ASCEND META session on “Space Structures at Scale” and is paired with an outcomes-focused workshop that will produce a detailed white paper and establish a special ASCEND working group in concert with the AIAA Space Architecture Technical Committee. We are modeling this after the Ensuring Economically Viable Lunar Settlements ASCENDxCo-Lab proceedings report developed in summer 2020.

MODERATOR

Ariel Ekblaw
Director, MIT Space Exploration Initiative

MODERATOR

Brent Sherwood
Senior Vice President, Advanced Development Programs, Blue Origin

0915 – 1015 hrs

META-17: Space for All: Challenges & Opportunities in Human Spaceflight

The definition of who is deemed healthy enough to go to space is changing. Between ESA's call for Parastronauts in the 2021–2022 selection campaign, the Inspiration4 campaign, and the rise of the commercial suborbital space sector, access to space is becoming increasingly democratized. Representatives from each of these sectors will talk about the opportunities and challenges that come with democratizing access to space.

MODERATOR

Shawna Pandya ASCEND2021 1

Shawna Pandya
Director, Medical Research, Orbital Assembly Corporation

PANELIST

Dorit Donoviel
Executive Director, Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH)

0915 – 1015 hrs

META-18: Space Domain Awareness – A Warfighters’ Perspective

In October 2019, Air Force Space Command directed the use of the term "space domain awareness" to reflect what was previously doctrinally known as "space situational awareness" to better reflect space as a distinct domain – and a warfighting domain, no less. Just as we have domain awareness to safely maneuver and protect our ships and aircraft, our forces need space domain awareness (SDA) to safely maneuver satellites. SDA also allows us to detect threats from adversaries in space so that we can protect and defend ourselves. SDA must be both predictive and current. The Unified Data Library (UDL), first developed in 2019, now consumes, processes, and distributes millions of unique SDA data products daily originating from dozens of commercial, academic, and government organizations worldwide to a diverse user base spanning 25 countries and over 3,500 individual users. How will the increase in proliferation of objects in multiple orbits – particularly low Earth orbit – impact SDA capabilities? How can the United States, in coordination with our allies and partners, characterize adversary behavior to call out dangerous or malign activity in space and influence adversary behavior?

MODERATOR

Lt Gen Nina Armagno
Director of Staff, Headquarters, U.S. Space Force

PANELIST

Lt Gen John Shaw
Deputy Commander, U.S. Space Command, U.S. Space Force

PANELIST

Maj Gen Leah Lauderback
Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Headquarters, U.S. Space Force

PANELIST

Lt Gen William Liquori, Jr.
Deputy Chief of Space Operations, Strategy, Plans, Programs, Requirements, and Analysis, U.S. Space Force

PANELIST

Maj Gen Deanna Burt
Deputy Commander, Space Operations Command, U.S. Space Force

1030 – 1130 hrs

META-19: Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) & Space Mission Integration

As the Department of Defense (DoD) is in the process of modernizing its approach to commanding military forces, Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) is DoD's concept to connect sensors from all the military services – Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Space Force – into a single network. Space is at the heart of JADC2. The Space Force is already pursuing some of the critical capabilities needed to implement the interconnectivity the military will need in future fights with adversaries such as Russia and China. For example, the Unified Data Library (UDL) of space domain awareness data is being integrated into the Space Force’s operational capabilities using cloud-based, commercial data standards. As we now face near-peer competitors like China and Russia, is the United States postured to respond in space at speed? In other words, are the needs of space operators being included?

MODERATOR

Marc Bernstein
Principal Staff, MIT Lincoln Laboratory

PANELIST

Seth Harvey
CEO & Co-Founder, Bluestaq

PANELIST

Brig. Gen. John Olson
Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of Space Operations (CSO/MA) and Acting Chief Technology and Innovation Officer (CTIO), U.S. Space Force

PANELIST

Lawrence “Robbie” Robertson
Lead Space Experimentalist, Air Force Research Laboratory

1030 – 1130 hrs

META-20: Challenges and Opportunities for Spacecraft Autonomy

Hear an exciting discussion among autonomy experts on the unique challenges and opportunities of space-based autonomy. While there are billions of dollars being spent on terrestrial applications, are these relevant and transferable to the challenges of autonomy in the space domain?

1100 – 1200 hrs

META-21: Space Traffic Management from the Diverse Dozen

Influential thinkers and emerging leaders from around the globe will be featured in a series of rapid-fire lightning talks that highlighted the most important issues surrounding safety, security, and sustainability in the context of space traffic.

1145 – 1245 hrs

Lunch Plenary: Leveraging Our Allies in National Security Space

The United States has long held a strategic “high-ground” military advantage over potential adversaries due to our advanced space capabilities. However, that time of superiority has passed. Our near-peer competitors, China and Russia, have not only reached parity with the United States, but are surging past us in some key space capability areas. Moreover, both have developed and are deploying increasingly advanced counterspace capabilities designed to degrade or destroy U.S. space assets. We can no longer take our advantages in space for granted, and must set a path to sustain or regain superiority in critical mission areas. Achieving this goal will not be simple nor quick, but with intellectual rigor and a continuous commitment, it is possible.

MODERATOR

Kay Sears ASCEND2021 1

Kay Sears
VP & GM, Military Space, Lockheed Martin

PANELIST

Maj. Gen. Susan Coyle
CSC, DSM, Head of Information Warfare, Australian Defence Force

PANELIST

Lt. Gen. John Shaw
Deputy Commander, U.S. Space Command

PANELIST

AVM Harv Smyth
Director, Space, UK Ministry of Defence
Lt. Gen. John Shaw, Deputy Commander, U.S. Space Command

1145 – 1245 hrs

Micro Sessions

1530 – 1630 hrs

Scaling Space Architecture and Habitation: Next-Generation Models for Growth in Orbit

As LEO and cislunar commercialization moves from cautious early entrants to a burgeoning global effort, we will need space structures built at scale – for government labs, academic research, industry R&D, space tourism, and eventually steady-state in-space habitation. Join this workshop to continue the discussion from the ASCEND META-16 session “Next-Generation Space Habitats” on how the space industry can scale human habitation in orbit through next-generation space architecture designs, systems, and structures. This outcomes-focused workshop will produce a white paper reflective of the group discussion for formal publication and to be used in briefings to inform national space priorities.

MODERATOR

Ariel Ekblaw
Director, MIT Space Exploration Initiative

PANELIST

Brent Sherwood
Senior Vice President, Advanced Development Programs, Blue Origin

1630 – 1830 hrs

Closing Plenary

ASCEND 2021 East Coast Satellite Event

Monday, 15 November 2021
Ronald Reagan Building – Rotunda Room
Washington, DC

Agenda

*Content subject to change

1030 hrs ET | Program Starts

Opening Ceremony (Livestreamed from Las Vegas)

Kari Byron, Producer and Television Personality

1100 hrs ET

MACRO-1 – Building Worlds That Do Not Yet Exist (Livestreamed from Las Vegas)

Have you ever wondered if we, as the greater collective, are thinking big enough for space? Discover the futures that don’t yet exist, how incredible creators and visionaries bring their ideas into reality, and the value that such efforts can bring to drive progress. Because if we can’t dream it, we can’t get there. Let’s explore together how to imagine untapped opportunities and turn those dreams into tangible images of the future as a catalyst for accelerating growth and delivering greater value for the space enterprise!

Moderator: TBC
Ariel Ekblaw, Director, MIT Space Exploration Initiative, MIT Media Lab

1200 hrs ET | Lunch Served
1215 hrs ET

META-4 – Public–Private Partnerships: When One Shoe Doesn’t Fit All (Livestreamed from Las Vegas)

(Lunch offered)

Public–Private Partnerships (PPP) have been in use in the United States almost since the nation was founded and in aviation and space for decades – driving industry forward, introducing innovation, and reducing costs. At the same time, they are not a panacea and sometimes fail, leaving the government to step in to clean up the mess. NASA’s recent efforts to utilize PPPs for human spaceflight systems are modeled on success with the Commercial Crew and Cargo Program that benefitted from an existing launch market with well-established customer demand. Is this the appropriate model for PPPs under conditions of uncertain demand, in LEO or deep space? Are PPPs still a meaningful construct in those circumstances, or are the rules, incentives, and risk management approach governing the relationship more important? This session will go beyond the “PPP soundbite” to explore different models across various types of markets and incentives.

Moderator: Mary Lynne Dittmar, Executive Vice President, Axiom Space
Jack Donohue, Raymond Vernon Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, Kennedy School, Harvard University
Dan Dumbacher, Executive Director, AIAA
Henry Hertzfeld, Research Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
Doug Hollett, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

1315 hrs ET | Networking Break
1300–1330 hrs

Opening Remarks (Live in DC)

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Chairman, House Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee

1400 hrs ET

Policy for Growing Commercial Space Opportunities (Live in DC)

This session will sharpen our focus on how policy can be used to accelerate, enhance, and shape commercial space opportunities while balancing the array of technical, financial, legal, and programmatic factors. Topics for the dynamic discussion include:
• When is it appropriate for government to use commercial services?
• What are the benefits and risks of firm-fixed-price procurements and Other Transactional Authorities?
• How can government and industry work together to accelerate “hard tech” development for space?
• How can regulations encourage the growth of purely private space ventures while still protecting public safety and other national interests?

Moderator: Tim Dominick, Chair, AIAA Public Policy
Mike Gold, Executive Vice President for Civil Space and External Affairs, Redwire Space
Tom Hammond, Senior Policy Advisor, House Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee (Minority Staff)
Ezinne Uzo-Okoro, Assistant Director for Space Policy, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)

1500 hrs ET | Post-Event Networking
1600 hrs ET | Happy Hour with AIAA National Capital Section – Off-Site (Optional)