Accelerating the Business of Space Exploration

27–28 April 2022
University of Houston–Clear Lake Wellness Center, Houston, TX

Join us in Houston for ASCENDxTexas, a new event designed to grow the Texas Space Ecosystem and our off-world future. In our first ASCEND event of 2022, we are excited to be working with our partners to bring the Texas space community together.

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Gain clarity on the lunar exploration market – supply, demand, materials, current status, and future opportunities.

DISCOVER opportunities, approaches, and investments for space exploration and where your business fits within this ecosystem.

EXPLORE commercialization efforts and the needed support and dialogue to move forward in the next 10 years

LEARN how NASA is evolving its approach to industry by simplifying the “how” and delivery of business engagements and recasting the feedback loop to enable faster outcomes.

IDENTIFY technology gaps and complexity, and how to address these gaps with novel or emerging techniques.

Attendees will gain in-depth insights about Artemis and other signature programs, and how these programs may serve as the anchor customer for future commercial missions to LEO, the moon, Mars, and beyond. Meet other companies based in Texas and learn how they’re accelerating our progress toward an off-world future.

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

Throughout the year, the ASCENDx Series accelerates momentum toward the fall ASCEND apex event. ASCENDxTexas is an open summit bringing together a broad community of stakeholders from NASA, industry, academia, government and other stakeholders to help build connections into partnerships, and engage in continuous discussions related to strategy building, development, and implementation of human and robotic lunar exploration. This event will focus on impactful outcomes and identifying opportunities holistically as a mission rather than a solution.

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Summit Agenda

Wednesday | 27 April

1200 - 1300 HRS CT

Pre-Summit Event

Optional UH Clear Lake Engineering Center Tour
Separate registration required.

ASCENDxTexas tour photos

1500 HRS CT

Welcome

SPEAKER

Vanessa Wyche
Director, NASA Johnson Space Center

1515 HRS CT

Texas Space Ecosystem: How the City of Houston and the NASA Johnson Space Center Work Together

Houston is Space City, and we’re investing in the space ecosystem through the Houston Spaceport and the startup/innovation community around the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). NASA JSC is creating new markets for commercial LEO and lunar human exploration while bringing our competencies and resources to support the broad range of stakeholders that make up our ecosystem. They will shine a spotlight on the interdependencies of the resources they provide, with a look ahead to the future of our ecosystem that enables our exploration objectives.

SPEAKER

Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin
City of Houston

SPEAKER

Vanessa Wyche
Director, NASA Johnson Space Center

1600 HRS CT

Stakeholder Outreach Initiative

As part of NASA JSC’s Dare.Unite.Explore vision, a stakeholder outreach initiative was started to inform the community how NASA JSC and industry can work together to create a vibrant space ecosystem. What is this initiative? How are industry ideas impacting future thinking? How can your company take advantage of this important resource?

PANELIST

Sam Gunderson
Partnership Development Lead, NASA Johnson Space Center

PANELIST

Monte Goforth
Assistant Director, Engineering Directorate, NASA Johnson Space Center

PANELIST

Nujoud Merancy
Chief, Exploration Mission Planning Office, NASA Johnson Space Center

1645 HRS CT

Networking Coffee Break

Sponsored by

barrios technology logo

1715 HRS CT

Day 1 Keynote: Future of Commercial Partnerships

Over the past decade, the private space sector has played a more prominent independent role in developing space technologies, often with great success. As NASA’s Artemis Program progresses, the space agency will continue to foster partnerships with the private sector to enable their audacious missions.

SPEAKER

Bhavya Lal
Associate Administrator, Office of Technology, Policy and Strategy, NASA

1745 HRS CT

Commercial LEO Space Markets

The International Space Station (ISS) has been a remarkable achievement, but it is reaching its end-of-life. How is the industry working to ensure that we will have a set of LEO destinations in the future? What investments are needed to develop this capability? This session explores how to accelerate, enhance, and shape commercial space opportunities using commercial LEO space stations. Topics for the dynamic discussion include:

  • What is the market for private space stations? Who will benefit?
  • What can NASA do to help industry grow the commercial LEO market?
  • How can government and industry work together to accelerate the delivery of LEO services?
  • What can NASA do to help industry manage their bigger risks?
  • What can industry do to help NASA?

MODERATOR

Camille Alleyne
Deputy Manager, Commercial LEO Development Program, NASA Johnson Space Center

PANELIST

Michael Baine
Chief Engineer/Chief Designer, Axiom Space

PANELIST

Jeffrey Manber
President, International and Space Stations, Voyager Space

PANELIST

Rick Mastracchio
Director, Strategy and Business Development, Human Exploration and Operations, Northrop Grumman

PANELIST

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

1830 HRS CT

Welcome Reception

Sponsored by

Jacobs Logo transparent

Thursday | 28 April

0730 HRS CT

Networking Breakfast

Sponsored by

kbr sponsor logo

0800 HRS CT

Welcome

SPEAKER

Richard Walker
Interim President, University of Houston – Clear Lake

0815 HRS CT

Opening Keynote: The Future of Exploration Commercialization

NASA Space Operations Associate Administrator Kathryn Lueders shares the convergence of low Earth orbit, deep space, and commerce in the pursuit of establishing markets that create an affordable and sustainable exploration program. Learn how NASA’s investment in commercial services and signature programs like Artemis will enable future commerce. Lueders will discuss lessons learned and next steps in space commercialization.

SPEAKER

Kathryn Lueders
Associate Administrator, Space Operations, NASA

845 HRS CT

How Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Enable Other Lunar Capabilities/Markets

CLPS was created to provide regular and affordable delivery of science and technology payloads to the surface of the moon. Industry is using this opportunity as a launch customer, and identifying additional markets that can be served while meeting NASA science objectives. What are these markets and others that can enable/accelerate lunar exploration?

MODERATOR

Regina Blue
Deputy, Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS), NASA Johnson Space Center

PANELIST

Colin Ake
Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Masten Space Systems

PANELIST

Tim Crain
Chief Technology Officer, Intuitive Machines

PANELIST

Shea Ferring
Senior Vice President, Spacecraft Division, Firefly Aerospace

PANELIST

Dan Hendrickson
Vice President, Business Development, Astrobotic

0930 HRS CT

Networking Coffee Break

Sponsored by

barrios technology logo

1000 HRS CT

Creating the Workforce of the Future

A talented workforce is vital to success in any industry. As the aerospace economy grows, utilization of academic resources will need to grow along with it. Working with schools and universities in the areas of research, recruitment, workforce development, and professional development will be essential to our national aspirations in space exploration and the innovation that will enable them.

MODERATOR

Stephen Altemus
President and CEO, Intuitive Machines

PANELIST

David Alexander, OBE
Director, Rice Space Institute, Rice University

PANELIST

Ahsan Choudhuri
Associate Vice President, Aerospace Center, and Professor, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at El Paso

PANELIST

Sallie Kay Janes
Associate Vice Chancellor, Continuing and Professional Development, San Jacinto College

PANELIST

Chris Maynard
Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, University of Houston – Clear Lake

1045 HRS CT

Forecast, Trends, & Analysis on Lunar Capabilities/Markets

SPEAKER

Carissa Christensen
CEO, BryceTech

1115 HRS CT

Attracting Private Investment that Meets Business and NASA Objectives

Space has always been hard – the problems are complex and the timelines are long – but we are reaching the point where we can build new space companies on infrastructure investments by NASA and others. NASA’s ISS, Commercial Resupply Services (CRS), and Commercial Crew programs have now spawned a growing commercial space industry. NASA’s investments in exploration, LEO platforms, cargo landers, and spacesuits are igniting the next wave of private investment. What does the investment community need to know to invest in systems needed for future services?

MODERATOR

Rob Meyerson
CEO, Delalune Space

PANELIST

Rob Desborough
Managing Partner, Seraphim Space Fund, and CEO, Seraphim Accelerator

PANELIST

Michael Palank
General Partner, MaC Venture Capital

PANELIST

Akshay Patel
Director, PJT Partners

PANELIST

Ally Warson
Principal, UP.Partners

1200 HRS CT

Lunch

Sponsored by
Lockheed Martin

1330 HRS CT

Utilizing the ISS Now to Grow Commercial Markets in the Space Ecosystem

The ISS is an established program that is the primary customer for the successful Cargo Resupply Services and Commercial Crew programs, and as we transition to commercial space stations, we still need to maintain those services on the ISS. What approaches are we using today to enhance utilization of ISS to create new opportunities?

MODERATOR

Ryan Prouty
Manager, ISS Research Integration Office

PANELIST

Richard Boling
Vice President, Corporate Advancement, Redwire Space

PANELIST

Jeffrey Manber
President, International and Space Stations, Voyager Space

PANELIST

David Zuniga
Business Development Manager, In-Space Manufacturing and Research, Axiom Space

1415 HRS CT

Innovative Businesses Growing with Private Investment

How does industry think about future business combinations that could enhance their ability to develop new concepts and create new markets? What can NASA do to help industry attract capital to create new markets while meeting NASA mission objectives? What are the primary drivers affecting your decision making today?

MODERATOR

Carissa Christensen
CEO, BryceTech

PANELIST

Mike Gold
Executive Vice President, Civil Space and External Affairs, Redwire Space

PANELIST

Clay Mowry
Chief Revenue Officer, Voyager Space

PANELIST

Stephanie Murphy
Owner and Executive Chairman, Aegis Aerospace, Inc.

PANELIST

Brendan O'Donoghue
Vice President, Global Public Sector, ICON

1500 HRS CT

Networking Coffee Break

Sponsored by

barrios technology logo

1530 HRS CT

Lunar Surface Operations – Market AND Mission

This session will sharpen our focus on how to accelerate, enhance, and shape commercial space opportunities for the lunar market. Topics for the dynamic discussion include:

  • What can NASA do to help industry grow the commercial lunar market?
  • How can government and industry work together to accelerate the delivery of lunar services or products for meeting industry and NASA objectives?
  • What can NASA do to help industry manage their bigger risks?
  • What can industry do to help NASA?

MODERATOR

Nujoud Merancy
Chief, Exploration Mission Planning Office, NASA Johnson Space Center

PANELIST

Derek Hodgins
Director, Strategy & Business Development, Lunar Infrastructure Services, Lockheed Martin

PANELIST

Lara Kearney
Manager, Extravehicular Activity (EVA) and Human Surface Mobility Program Office, NASA Johnson Space Center

PANELIST

Aarti Matthews
Starship Human Landing System Program Manager, SpaceX

PANELIST

Paolo Venneri
Executive Vice President, Advanced Technologies Division, USNC

1630 HRS CT

Accelerating for Tomorrow

What are the short-term and long-term policy and technology strategies needed to make the future a reality? In this closing session, we’ll use a futuristic viewpoint to discuss what needs to be developed in the next two to ten years to field and operate space systems more efficiently and affordably. How do we close the gap and accelerate for tomorrow? Explore how new strategies, technologies, innovations, practices, and investments may impact exploration, reliability, sustainability, mission planning and training, autonomous operations, and more.

MODERATOR

Julie Van Kleeck
Space Domain Lead and ASCEND Executive Producer, AIAA

PANELIST

Janet Kavandi
President, Sierra Space

PANELIST

John Mulholland
Vice President and Program Manager, International Space Station, The Boeing Company

PANELIST

Benjamin Reed
Senior Director, Human Spaceflight Programs, SpaceX

PANELIST

Kirk Shireman
Vice President, Lunar Exploration Campaign, Lockheed Martin

1715 HRS CT

Closing Remarks

SPEAKER

Julie Van Kleeck
Space Domain Lead and ASCEND Executive Producer, AIAA

SPEAKER

Charles Stegemoeller
Senior Director, Business Development, SAIC Civil Space

1730 HRS CT

Closing Reception

Closing Reception Sponsored by

Closing Reception Hosted by

BAHEP logo 175

1930 HRS CT

Post-Summit Event (optional)

NASA’s Johnson Space Center 60th Anniversary Celebration Event
On 25 May 1961, President John F. Kennedy committed the nation to achieving the goal of “landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth” before the end of the decade — resulting in a dedicated field center for human spaceflight. In September 1961, NASA announced that site would be the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas. Join NASA Johnson Space Center to celebrate this milestone anniversary on 28 April 2022. Please note that the event is not open to the public – NASA team members and their families, retirees, community partners, and invited guests are welcomed. For more information on ticketing, please visit this link.

General Information

For registration questions please contact custserv@aiaa.org or 1.800.639.AIAA (2422).

If you are unable to attend the 2022 ASCENDxTexas event you are entitled to receive a full refund of your registration fee. Cancellations must be in writing and received no later than 21 April 2022. Registrants who cancel beyond this date or fail to attend the event will forfeit the entire fee.

Media Registration: Fill out the Press Credential Registration Form

What to Know On-Site

Location: University of Houston – Clear Lake Wellness Center, 2700 Bay Area Blvd, Houston, TX 77058

Safety & Wellness: Your well-being is our priority. Registrants will be required to present proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test through our third-party vendor. Full health & safety information

Parking: Parking is available in Lot D4, located next to the Wellness Center. Campus Map

Travel: Houston Hobby Airport (HOU) is 15.7 miles from the venue. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is 42.1 miles from the venue.

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