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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Live Event Help

  • What is the event platform link?

    Event Platform Linked Here

    There are multiple other ways you can find this link:

    1. Click the “Login Now” button on the ASCEND website homepage
    2. Click the “Virtual Platform” hyperlink in your access email from ascend@aiaa.org
    3. Click the “Event Platform” tab on the Online Program
  • How do I get my access information?

    You should have received your access information in an email from ascend@aiaa.org with the subject line “ASCEND 2020 Attendee Registration Confirmation” as early as 9 November or within 5 min of your registration if after that date.

    Scroll to the bottom and you’ll see the following:

    Virtual Platform
    Username: (your email)
    Password: (randomized code)

    Please do not share your personal access information.

  • What if I can’t find my password?

    1. Check your spam or quarantine folder for the email from ascend@aiaa.org
    2. If no email, use the “Forgot Password” link on the event platform login page, and look for an email from ascend@aiaa.org.
    3. If this doesn’t go to your inbox, check your spam or quarantine folder again for the email from ascend@aiaa.org
    4. If you’re still not seeing your login information from ascend@aiaa.org, send an email to ascend@aiaa.org give the email address tied to your registration and stated you’ve followed the above process and still don’t have your password.
  • How do I know what sessions to attend?

    To give you an idea of how the program is built, check out the Program Overview.

    For advanced search features of all sessions, events, presenters, and other program participants, access the Online Program.

    • Note that the agenda ASCEND registrants create in the online program is NOT brought over to the platform. However you can export your schedule to be printed or in your your preferred calendar application.


    Once in the event platform, you can still search with limited functionality of only session titles either in the Auditorium for live sessions, or the Technical Presentations for on-demand individual presentations.

  • I’m a speaker or chair - What if I have multiple emails, one for my registration and a different one for my session?

    If you have multiple emails and need assistance merging them or transferring access/registration to one email, please send the two emails and summary if the situation to ascend@aiaa.org.

  • I’m a speaker or chair – how do I access my live session?

    1. When you first login, check to make sure you have access to the Speaker Lounge (Login > Lobby > Lounge > Speaker Lounge) – If you don’t have access, email NathanB@aiaa.org
    2. Also when you first login, check that your sessions are listed (Speaker Lounge > Presenting Sessions) – Note you won’t be able to access the session until 60 min prior to session start
    3. Within 60 min prior to session, select appropriate session’s “Present Webinar” green button
    4. Follow instructions from there to connect camera/microphone and enter the session
  • I’m a speaker or chair – I don’t have my session listed, what do I do?

    If you don’t have the needed sessions listed under your “Presenting Sessions” list, email NathanB@aiaa.org as soon as possible.

  • I’m a speaker or chair – I’m not registered, should I be?

    Yes – all technical session presenters or chairs need to have a paid registration

    For engagement session invited panelists attending only their session, email NathanB@aiaa.org if you haven’t already worked this out.

General Event and Programming

  • What Does ASCEND Mean?

    ASCEND is an acronym that stands for “Accelerating Space Commerce, Exploration, and New Discovery.” The name captures our ambition to empower space professionals and organizations to drive the space economy forward together.

  • When will the event take place?

    ASCEND will take place online 16-18 November 2020. ASCEND also featured an online series called ASCENDx as a build-up to the November event. See what you missed and catch-up on the conversation

  • Who will be attending?

    ASCEND is built to convene space professionals and organizations from every discipline and industry to build the space economy, support space exploration, and further space science. Our attendees come from all of the following groups:

    • engineering
    • private enterprise
    • startups
    • investors
    • civil space
    • national security
    • academia
    • research
    • space sciences
    • media
    • emerging technology
    • policy
  • How is content being developed for ASCEND?

    ASCEND is built around asking tough questions that impact everyone working or studying in the space industry. We’re collaborating with our engineering, business, civil, and governmental advisors to select one primary question for each day of the event.

    ASCEND is building each daily schedule with technical content that aligns under that day’s featured topic. Learn more about our unique program.

  • How can I pass along speaker or content suggestions for ASCEND?

    The best way to impact the content at ASCEND is to propose your own work! Learn more about our Call for Content for 2020, and stay tuned for the next Call for Content in 2021.

    We would also love to hear your ideas for speakers and topics in the meantime. To share those ideas, send us an email at ascend@aiaa.org.

  • How can my organization exhibit at or sponsor ASCEND?

    As one of ASCEND’s partners, you will be able to further its position by playing a lead role in defining the promise and potential of the emerging space economy. Visit the Exhibit & Sponsor page or send us an email at ascendsales@smithbucklin.com and we’ll help you customize your experience and impact at ASCEND.

  • Who is building the ASCEND experience?

    The ASCEND program is built with the combined expertise of AIAA’s technical community and industry thought leaders. The structure and experience itself are being crafted with the support of world-renowned advisors in the space industry.

  • Will there be published papers and proceedings from ASCEND?

    Yes. Stay tuned for more details!

  • Will there be technical papers?

    Yes! Technical papers play an important role in ASCEND. ASCEND is all about collaboration, sharing ideas, and the very latest thinking in aero and astronautics. There’s no better venue to promote your ideas among your peers, pressure test your thinking, and discover new insight and inspiration.

  • What is the ASCENDxSeries?

    The ASCEND universe is expanding to meet and anticipate the ever growing needs of the global space community. The structure of ASCEND includes a series of online events, identified as the ASCENDxSeries, leading up to the apex event from 16-18 November.

    The ASCENDxSeries is happening now through October and will provide multiple live online informational and engaging opportunities, via ASCENDxWebinars, ASCENDxCo-Labs, and ASCENDxSummits.

    Check out the upcoming events or recordings of previous events are available.

  • Section

    There are designated timeslots for committee meetings to virtually take place following the scheduled content taking place 16-18 November. These are in development and more information will be available closer to the event. For general Technical Committee and TC Discussion Group Meetings questions, please contact Angie Lander at angiel@aiaa.org.

  • How will the technical program be included in the online event?

    In order to maximize schedule flexibility and allow for multiple author presentations in a virtual environment, the technical program will consist of two parts:

    • Authors will upload both manuscript and presentation slides with audio (one MP4 file) for each paper. These will be available for viewing by all registrants at least a week prior to the event start date.
    • Authors will be assigned a virtual live Q&A session in which they can answer questions and have a virtual dialogue with attendees. More information on the specific format and details of these sessions will be available by the end of August.

    Technical presentations will not be presented live – they will be uploaded in advance and available for viewing on-demand. Each prerecorded technical presentation will be 20 minutes in length. There will be live Q&A with presenters available in scheduled sessions between 16-18 November. Live Q&A will include a brief (1 slide) review of the presentation, followed by Q&A with the other presenters and attendees in that session.

  • Do attendees need to watch the pre-recorded technical paper presentation before attending the live Q&A session?

    It is recommended, but not required, that attendees view the pre-recorded technical presentations in advance of the Q&A session. 

Call for Content Presenter

  • Will there be trainings or Town Halls like previous AIAA virtual Forums to answer questions from the technical presenter community?

    Yes, ample training webinars and documentation will be provided for both session chairs and individual presenters. Please check  the Presenter Resources page for more details including past recordings and upcoming training calendar appointments.

    Training: Wednesday, 28 October 1200 – 1300 hrs EST (GMT-4)
    Training: Wednesday, 4 November 0800 – 0900 hrs EST(GMT-5)
    Training: Thursday, 12 November 1230-1330 hrs EST (GMT-5)

    Hands-on: You can get directly into the BigMarker system to test your connection and have a deeper dive into available features. The dates/times and links to sign up are on the Presenter Resources page.

  • Where do I upload my manuscript if applicable, the presentation file, and the summary slide?

    Presenting authors should have submitted the manuscript (if applicable), the 20-min presentation MP4 file, and the 1 slide summary saved as a PDF via ScholarOne Abstracts previously.

    Access to view presentation recordings on the platform will be available the week of 9 November for all ASCEND registrants.

  • Are we required to use the AIAA template for the slides, or can we use our university/company template instead? Is wide or stand profile preferred for presentations?

    AIAA recommends that you use the available AIAA presentation template, which is wide (16:9) format, but you can use your university/company template if you prefer. Please note that your presentation slides (only) must contain the following copyright information: 

    Copyright © by ____ [author(s) name or company name]. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission.

  • How do I record the requested MP4 presentation?

    Presentations must include slides and audio and be saved as a MP4 file. A document citing details and information on options and best practices is currently being made and will be available by the beginning of August. 

    The presentation with audio can be created in a number of ways, including PowerPoint, PDF, etc. The benefit to prerecording is that you can stop and re-record as necessary to improve the quality.

    • Presentation Recording Guide: For information on how to record, save, and reduce file size, check back in early August
    • Presentation File Type & Maximum Size: Presentations must be saved as one MP4 file with a maximum file size of 500mb. This file will include both the slides and the audio. File compression is highly recommended. Please allow ample time for uploading as large files may take 20-30 minutes to upload, depending on file size and upload speed.
    • Presentation Duration: The presentation should be 20 minutes long; presentations longer than 25 minutes will be rejected and returned to the presenter for re-upload.

    Technical Assistance with Presentation Recordings: If you have any questions or need assistance please contact us at conferences@aiaa.org.

  • Will presentations be required to concurrently show both slide AND presenter or just be prerecorded audio over presentation?

    The presentation is just prerecorded audio with slides; you are not required to show the presenter within the video.

  • Presentations being in MP4 format means that it is in essence a video. Viewers cannot scroll through the presentation at their own pace?

    That’s correct. Because not everyone has access to one particular software used to create the presentation file, we have chosen to use the standard file type of MP4 so that it can be played with a media player inside the virtual Forum platform. We realize this somewhat limits a viewer’s ability to scroll through the presentation at their own pace, but it ensures that attendees will have a consistent experience viewing all technical presentations.

  • Will author/presenter bios be posted with the presentation videos online?

    No, author/presenter bios will not be available with the presentation files, but we encourage presenters to include a very brief introduction of themselves at the start of their presentation.

  • Is our video limited to our slides, or can we bring in other video and visuals? Can we make it look more like a YouTube video?

    You are welcome to use video and visuals in your slides and make it as informative and engaging as possible. 

  • Is there an ASCEND presentation template?

    Yes! Session chairs and presenters are welcome to use the ASCEND presentation template as they desire. This template is available on the Presenter Resources page.


  • How much is registration for the virtual event?

    Please visit the registration page for details.

  • Who will have access to proceedings?

    Full conference registrants will have access to proceedings. For other registration types (Student and Retiree), they do not have access to the proceedings (publications) to accommodate the lower registration rate. All conference registrants will have access to technical presentations.

  • What if I register for the virtual forum and cannot participate?

    Like the face-to-face event your registration provides you with access to technical proceedings. Recordings of the high level sessions and technical presentations will be available until December 2020. Regarding registration fees, refunds can only be accommodated if you send your request before 1 November 2020.

  • Do you have a student rate?

    Yes, we do have a special rate for current students. Refer to the registration rates page for rules and restrictions; scroll down to the bottom of the page.

  • Is there a discount for AIAA Members?

    We do offer a discount for AIAA members as well as additional discounts for different types of membership. See more details on the registration rates page. Scroll down to the bottom for an explanation on the registration types. 

  • Is there a press pass?

    Yes, we’d love to have you!

  • What is the Public Access registration?

    Are you part of the science interested public and want to get a taste of ASCEND? We’re proud to offer the “Public Access Registration” for FREE! This will get you access to a select few LIVE sessions from 16-18 November.

    Register here.

    Check out the sessions you’ll have access to in the Online Program.  Agenda > Filter > Topics > Public Access (under Persona)

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