Skip to main content
Next Steps in the LEO-to-Lunar Voyage
14–15 February 2024
South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center

Building upon the success of last year’s event, the 2024 program will bring together the innovative minds, trailblazing startups, and industry leaders that are needed to drive outcomes to accelerate our off-world future.

HomeASCENDxSeries2024 ASCENDxTexas


EARLY BIRD RATES AVAILABLE THROUGH 17 JANUARY 2024. Your registration provides an all-access pass for two-days of programming and networking opportunities.

Conference - Standard


$449 regular



$399 regular



$299 regular



$299 regular

Powered by AIAA, ASCEND, which stands for Accelerating Space Commerce, Exploration, and New Discovery, is the world’s premier outcomes-focused, interdisciplinary space community designed to accelerate the building of our off-world future.

The ASCENDx Series accelerates momentum toward the ASCEND apex event. ASCENDxTexas is an open summit bringing together a broad community of stakeholders from NASA, industry, academia, government, and private entities to help build connections into partnerships, and engage in continuous discussions on strategy, development, and implementation of our off-world exploration, national security, and commercial activities. As with all our ASCEND events, ASCENDxTexas will focus on impactful outcomes and identifying opportunities holistically as a mission rather than a solution.


Summit Agenda

Wednesday | 14 February

1300 HRS CT



Julie Van Kleeck 2023new

Julie Van Kleeck
ASCEND Executive Producer

1305 HRS CT

Opening Remarks and Progress of the Past Year


a headshot of vanessa wyche

Vanessa Wyche
Director, NASA Johnson Space Center

1315 HRS CT

Pathfinding Our Off-World Future: An AIAA Space Domain Strategy Update

AIAA’s Space Domain continues its engagement with the broader space community, welcomes international participation and partnerships, and expands its impact with task forces and other new initiatives. Learn how AIAA is updating its Space Domain strategy to continue thought leadership and action in the ever-evolving technical landscape.


Dan Dumbacher 2022

Dan Dumbacher

1330 HRS CT

Agency Acquisition Models – Shaping Space Investment Strategies and Collaboration

As the space industry continues to evolve from a purely government-directed entity into a commercial-driven sector, new challenges arise in every direction. This session will explore the challenges and opportunities as seen from leadership’s perspective and provide a chance for open feedback from the audience.


Karla Smith Jackson

Karla Smith Jackson
Senior Procurement Executive, Deputy Chief Acquisition Officer, and Assistant Administrator for the Office of Procurement at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA

1400 HRS CT

Moon-to-Mars Strategy – Evolving Projects, Timelines, and Architectural Update

As humanity reaches ever farther from our home world, clear foresight and navigation are crucial in building sustainable economies. How will the moon-to-Mars economy materialize, how far off is commercial viability, and what steps/technologies are needed to catalyze the industry? This session will touch on NASA’s 2023 Architecture Concept Review and provide an update on NASA’s moon-to-Mars timeline and strategy to help prepare both contractors and companies for future industries.



Nujoud Merancy
Deputy Associate Administrator, Strategy and Architecture Office, NASA

1430 HRS CT

Networking Coffee Break

Sponsored by

JES Tech Logo

1500 HRS CT

Texas as a Case Study – Space-Forward State Cooperation

Federal funding of space missions and research is no longer the only avenue to get a project off the ground. With the influx of private and individual funding of space endeavors, how are states incentivizing projects and companies to utilize local capabilities and resources? This panel will examine Texas as a case study in leveraging political, fiscal, and operational opportunities to bring the stars a little closer to the Lone Star State, including a look into HB 3447, the Texas Space Commission, and the Aerospace Research and Space Economy Consortium.


Brian Freedman 2024

Brian Freedman
President, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership (BAHEP)


Greg Bonnen 2024

Dr. Greg Bonnen, M.D.
Chair House Appropriations Committee, Texas House of Representatives


Adriana Cruz 2024

Adriana Cruz
Executive Director, Texas Economic Development & Tourism – Office of Governor Greg Abbott

1545 HRS CT

Charting a Course for Future Space Research

Building off the previous panel, this session will examine the economic, academic, and industrial impact of the newly funded Texas Space Commission and the Aerospace Research and Space Economy Consortium, including the creation of the new Texas A&M Space Institute. Hear from leaders of these endeavors on how the new resources will be used and how they will accelerate the aerospace industry as a whole.


Gwen Griffin 2024

Gwen Griffin
CEO, Griffin Communications


Nancy Currie Gregg 2024

Nancy Currie-Gregg
Director, Texas A&M Space Institute


a headshot of vanessa wyche

Vanessa Wyche
Director, NASA Johnson Space Center

1630 HRS CT

Networking & Welcome Reception

Sponsored by

Jacobs Logo transparent

Thursday | 15 February

0715 HRS CT

Networking Breakfast

Sponsored by

LeagueCityTX logo transparent 1893

0745 HRS CT

Capital and Capitol Support for Space Research

Research is never cheap – space research doubly so. With intense investment in space exploration and commercialization, research is critical to profitability. Building on the previous day’s panels on Agency Acquisition Models, Space-Forward State Cooperation, and Future Space Research, this session will delve into the economic drivers for government investment in space research with perspectives from key leadership and industry stakeholders.


Elaine Gresham 2024

Elaine Gresham
Director, Government Space Division, BryceTech


David Baumann 2023

David Baumann
Director, Human Research Program, NASA


Kevin Engelbert 2024

Kevin Engelbert
Manager, In Space Production Applications (InSPA) Portfolio, NASA Johnson Space Center


Shelby Hritz 2024

Shelby Hritz
Director, Industry Engagement, NASA

0845 HRS CT

Demand Signals for a Viable Commercial Lunar Market

Demand Signals for a Viable Commercial Lunar Market With the first CLPS mission scheduled to launch on 24 December 2023, and another five missions scheduled throughout 2024 – a commercial lunar market is beginning to emerge. At an estimated $1 million per payload-kilogram, the demand for these services needs to be clearly understood. Hear from industry leaders on their goals, timelines, challenges, and forecasting for this burgeoning piece of the cislunar economy.


Jennifer Lopex 2024

Jennifer Lopez
Program Specialist, NASA


Chris Boger 2024

Chris Boger
Program Manager, Space Systems, Draper


Tim Craine 2024

Tim Crain
Chief Technology Officer, Intuitive Machines


Lindsay Papsidero 2024

Lindsay Papsidero
Senior Director of Civil and Commercial Space, Astrobotic


Jana Spruce 2024

Jana Spruce
Vice President, Spacecraft, Firefly Aerospace

0945 HRS CT


1015 HRS CT

Networking Coffee Break

Sponsored by


1030 HRS CT

Operating in an Evolving Space Landscape: What Next Generation Outposts Can Learn from ISS

What does it take to run a crewed outpost in spaceHow does a team establish and evolve the partnerships and sustaining processes on the ground that “keep the lights on”, and keep humanity in orbitA panel of International Space Station leaders will talk about the programmatic, organizational, and operational challenges of establishing and maintaining a human spaceflight in Low Earth Orbit, address some of the ways those challenges have evolved over the 23+ years of ISS crewed operations and consider what may lie ahead for future outposts.


Stephanie Dudley 2023

Stephanie Buskirk Dudley
Manager, Mission Integration & Utilization, Gateway Program, NASA


Jennifer Buchli 2023

Jennifer Buchli
Chief Scientist, ISS, NASA


TJ Creamer NASA

T.J. Creamer
Flight Director & Astronaut, NASA


Mary Lawrence NASA

Mary Lawrence
Deputy Manager, Vehicle Office, ISS Program, NASA


Courtenay McMillan NASA

Courtenay McMillan
Manager Mission Integration & Operations, ISS Program, NASA

1130 HRS CT

Building on the ISS Legacy—Commercial Opportunities in LEO

As the International Space Station edges closer to retirement, opportunities for Commercial Low Earth Orbit Destinations expand while new industries gain open access to microgravity. This panel will explore overarching plans for these future space stations, the status of developing demand signals, and next steps in budling a viable market for commercial LEO destinations and transportation.


Angela Hart 2023ASCENDxTexas

Angela Hart
Manager, Commercial Low Earth Orbit Program NASA


Bill Beckman NASA 2024

Bill Beckman
Director, NASA Programs, The Boeing Company


Benji Reed 2022ASCEND

Benjamin “Benji” Reed
Senior Director, Human Spaceflight Programs, SpaceX


Tim Kopra 2023

Tim Kopra
Chief Executive Officer, Nanoracks


Randy Lillard 2023

Randy Lillard
Program Manager, Orbital Reef, Blue Origin


Matt Ondler

Matt Ondler
President, Axiom

1215 HRS CT

Lunch & Interactive Discussions

Last year’s favorite workshop exercise returns as participants will be asked to ponder overarching challenges in the industry from policy to workforce to technical developments and challenged to creatively overcome them. Led and guided by NASA staff, this session helps the audience focus on both the feasible and the formidable as the industry looks to the next age of space economy.

Start Your Participation Now

Review the outcomes of our 2023 interactive sessions as you prepare for active engagement with these interactive sessions.

Sponsored by

Cimarron logo 2023

1400 HRS CT

Accelerating a Global Space Ecosystem

Our off-world future will be a global endeavor by necessity. Beyond cooperative exploration initiatives, commercialization will be driven by innovative ideas from around the world. This discussion will provide insights and reactions from other countries working to build a sustainable LEO-to-lunar ecosystem.


Ralph Grau 2024

Raphael Grau
Deputy Manager, External Integration Office, ISS Program, NASA


Salvatore Grignano 2024

Salvatore Grignano
Sr. Marketing and Promotion Officer, Italian Trade Agency


Kris Kuehnel 2024

Kris Kuehnel
Managing Director, Space Exploration Operations, Airbus US Space & Defense


Veronica La Regina 2024

Veronica La Regina
Director General, Space Cargo Unlimited


Seamus Tuohy 2024

Seamus Tuohy
Senior Director, Business Development, Robotics & Space Operations, MDA

1445 HRS CT

Networking Coffee Break

Sponsored by

Oceaneering International logo

1500 HRS CT

Report-Outs from Interactive Discussions

Taken from conversations earlier in the day, this out-brief will distill down the main takeaways from the Interactive Discussions and aim to incite the imagination of paths into the new age of space exploration, commerce, and technology.


Charles Stegemoeller 2022ASCEND

Charlie Stegemoeller

1530 HRS CT

Putting the Pieces Together: Diverse Perspectives in LEO-to-Lunar

As ASCEND’s goal is to bring together different sectors within the space industry as well as adjacent and burgeoning industries, the closing session will assemble representatives with different perspectives to reflect on the conversations from the past two days. Looking at the industry now through the next 10, 15, and 20 years, we’ll explore how the space economy is recalibrating from old to new ways of doing business and how these new perspectives evolve the idea of a sustainable space economy. We’ll explore where we are, where we’re going, and how we get there faster together.


Camille Alleyne1 ASCEND2022

Camille Wardrop Alleyne
CEO, Arusha Space


Brad Cothran 2024

Brad Cothran
President, Cimarron


Kelly Page 2024

Kelly Page
President, Barrios Technology


Kirk Shireman 2023

Kirk Shireman
Vice President, Lunar Exploration Campaign, Lockheed Martin


Dennis Stone 2024

Dennis Stone
Vice President, Business Development, Vast

1600 HRS CT

Closing Reception

Closing Reception Sponsors Presented by

BAHEP logo 175

Accelerate with Us!

Build your off-world future faster. Subscribe now for alerts, news, special offers and extra access to the expanding universe of ASCEND.