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Sustaining Space for the Next Generation

Wednesday, 8 June 2022
1200–1415 hrs ET

Today’s space industry is rapidly growing so how do we continue to build and expand our off-world future in a more sustainable and deliberate fashion? How can all aspects – environmental, economic, and social – be integrated into present and future space efforts? How do we implement this domestically as well as internationally?


The space industry was NOT created with sustainability in mind

LEARN how sustainability is defined and embraced for space.

DISCOVER how space companies are taking sustainability to the next level.

DETERMINE how to measure what’s working and what’s not.

EXPLORE recommendations on how to sustain the space ecosystem and how that impacts Earth.

The United Nations defines sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The three pillars of sustainability are commonly acknowledged as environmental, economic, and social. All three must be embraced for an ecosystem to prosper and persevere.

The space industry was NOT created with sustainability in mind. At the beginning of the Space Age, longevity of the industry was not considered…that is why we have toxic chemicals that would be left behind in soils and groundwater, orbital debris, the inefficiency of single-use systems, the lack of a sustainable workforce, etc.

Sustainability is defined and applied in many ways in the space industry, and this informative event highlights a number of these strategies. Through a diverse set of case studies, we will share a myriad of sustainability best practices and lessons learned.

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. ASCENDxSummit: Sustaining Space for the Next Generation will focus on all aspects of sustainability – environmental, economic, and social. Let’s explore what can and should be done, and discover ways to move the needle forward!

We also will identify additional areas of focus that will be highlighted at our 2022 ASCEND apex event in the fall and discuss recommendations for next steps.


Wednesday | 8 June

1200-1210 hrs ET

Welcome and Introduction


Julie Van Kleeck 2022ASCEND

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

1210-1225 hrs ET

Environmental Intelligence from Space: Protecting the Planet and Promoting Prosperity

As the demand for environmental information continues to grow, new and more innovative satellites are being developed to provide revolutionary spatial, spectral and temporal resolution. Explore some of these new efforts within the aerospace industry.


Sheldon Drobot
Environmental Intelligence and Sustainability Mission Area Lead, Ball Aerospace

1225-1240 hrs ET

Sustainability in Space – The International Space Station

This presentation will examine water and air recycling as well as power generation on the International Space Station (ISS). It also will explore the ways in which the ISS is being utilized as a platform for demonstrating new technologies and upgrades of existing systems to enable long duration space exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit.


Laura Shaw
Vehicle Integration Office Manager, International Space Station Program, NASA Johnson Space Center

1240-1255 hrs ET

The Case for Space Environmentalism

Dr. Jah’s thesis is that near-earth orbital space is a finite resource in need of environmental protection. He’ll present examples and how Privateer Space aims to be part of a community-wide solution.


Moriba Jah
Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, Privateer Space

1255-1310 hrs ET

Enhancing Space Sustainability with In-Space Servicing, Assembly and Manufacturing

This session will examine:

  • Sustainable exploration of and expansion into space and the key technologies required
  • In-space resource utilization and reducing the burden on Earth’s resources
  • Manufacturing and assembling structures in space (moving manufacturing to space vs. on Earth)
  • Keeping satellites sustained on-orbit


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

1310-1325 hrs ET

Sustainability of Space Markets

To understand the sustainability of space markets, this discussion will focus on the following points:

  • What is meant by the term “market”?
  • What are the mechanisms that drive market change, and what effect do these mechanisms have on market sustainability?
  • What can be changed to ensure market sustainability, and who/what decides to change them?
  • Given answers to these questions, what does this mean for space markets?


Ken Davidian
Research Manager, Office of Commercial Space Transportation, FAA

1325-1405 hrs ET

Discussion and Q&A

1405-1415 hrs ET

Conclusion & Closing Remarks

Register to view on demand replay.

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