Meet ASCEND attendee Daniel Hastings, a professor at MIT and the Department Head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, who is exploring the uncharted reaches of entrepreneurial space.

Why I’m going to ASCEND

Daniel Hastings, Professor, MIT

Daniel Hastings, Professor, MIT

I’m excited about ASCEND because it is bringing together the people who are as passionate about exploring entrepreneurial space as they are deep space. ASCEND is unique in that it brings together people interested in space technology, space systems, people developing businesses in space as well as those developing businesses from space and intermingles them with academics and writers, business people and entrepreneurs, scientists and engineers—all of whom are keenly interested in what the future of space holds.

Who I want to meet

ASCEND fills a very important niche. This is where the entrepreneurs will be. It’s not solely national security, or solely the internationals—it’s this highly desirable blending of disciplines and sectors, tied together by the entrepreneurs. That’s who I’m interested in talking to.

What I hope to achieve

The biggest thing that is going on right now is what I would call the democratization of space, which is the burgeoning number of smaller satellite capabilities that organizations are putting up. Those are companies like Space X and Blue Origin, but it’s also what universities are doing, and it’s changing the very nature of space enterprise as we’ve known it. As the price point of what you can do in space drops, I’m interested in learning what new things will emerge? What new business models and new technologies will develop? And what exciting new challenges will arise, like where’s it all going to go and how will it be regulated?

I think this is all tremendously exciting. In a sense, it’s moving away from a government dominated space to a much more entrepreneurial space, where the government is still playing a very important role, but among a much more interesting mix of players. At MIT, there are a whole bunch of faculty and students who want to go to ASCEND. They are all doing interesting things in space research. They’ want to go to present their work, to network with other people like themselves, to meet people who are the entrepreneurs in space. ASCEND will allow us to talk to the range of people who are doing this kind of innovative stuff.

Share your dreams of tomorrow

Your entrepreneurial spirit, business acumen, technical innovations, and passion for aerospace play an important role in both advancing life on earth and building our off-world civilization. Like Daniel, we invite you to share your vision for what that future will look like and how we’ll get there.

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Jaclyn Vann

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