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June 10, 2021 – Reston, Va. – ASCEND, the interdisciplinary community focused on building humanity’s off-world future faster, today began rolling out the features of its centerpiece event program. Scheduled for 8–10 and 15–17 November, the ASCEND event will showcase a hybrid blend of live in-person and online programming.  Powered by AIAA, ASCEND was launched in 2020 to Accelerate Space Commerce, Exploration, and New Discovery.

The hybrid event launches 8 November with a three-day flight of programming – five hours each day, presented only online. These days will include strategic Meta presentations and operational Micro technical papers and collaborative discussions. Registration will open in late July, with multiple options for live, virtual, and on-demand attendance.

Live from Las Vegas
The following week, 15–17 November, ASCEND will welcome attendees live and in-person at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas, and online everywhere. The program will include presentations and conversations led by high-profile thought leaders and rising industry influencers. Content will focus on big challenges, pathways to success, the application of innovation, and the exponential value of interdisciplinary collaboration in space. Select activities will be open only to attendees in Las Vegas.

In addition, ASCEND will host an in-person East Coast Satellite Event in Washington, DC, on 15 November, featuring special programming and a live viewing of Las Vegas sessions. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Content presented at 2021 ASCEND will be available for on-demand viewing online throughout the event and the weeks following. Speakers for the visionary Macro sessions and strategic Meta presentations will be announced in the coming weeks as details are confirmed.

“The ASCEND community has stepped up to deliver more of the content and connections we’re hungry for — anywhere on the planet. In fact, we’ve added three days to the schedule to accommodate the new technical and collaborative sessions that will guide building our off-world future faster,” said ASCEND Executive Producer Rob Meyerson.

Technical Presentations Will Be Streamed
Nearly 400 Micro session technical papers will be presented online during 2021 ASCEND, in addition to about 100 collaborative sessions featuring multiple experts discussing focused topics. The international grassroots community includes authors from industry, government, and academia in 27 countries. These Micro session topics range from Accelerating the Space Economy, Space Life Sciences and Systems, and Space Automation and Robotics, to Cybersecurity and Applied Systems Engineering.

“One goal of ASCEND is to connect technical experts with business and government leaders from aerospace and adjacent industries to discuss, test, build, and solve problems together. ASCEND is unique in its ability to convene the technical conversation from the deep aeronautics and astronautics community, as well as from adjacent industries who see their future in space. Expertise can inform the economics and the policies of space exploration and drive the intentional outcomes we need to accelerate building our off-world future,” said AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher.

ASCEND Guiding Coalition Advises on Program Design
“We’re honored this year’s Guiding Coalition continues its role as a critical partner in helping us grow ASCEND as the on-ramp to space for everyone. From rockets and payloads to policy, administration and advocacy, the 33 members of the 2021 ASCEND Guiding Coalition bring an accumulated wealth of experience — millions of miles and billions of dollars invested in space — to inform and inspire the ASCEND community,” Meyerson added.

Tickets to ASCEND in-person experiences will be limited by COVID-19 protocols for safety. Detailed protocols for in-person participation will be announced when attendee registration opens in late July. “Even as we begin to feel comfortable with more face-to-face interactions in the ‘next normal,’ we are pleased ASCEND will be hybrid in nature to maximize its reach and impact,” said AIAA Managing Director of Professional Development Craig Day.

24th AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference
The 24th AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference also will be presented 15–17 November, in conjunction with the overall ASCEND experience. This leading-edge forum for exploring R&D and the technologies underpinning confidence in this fast-growing field will highlight multiple opportunities for international collaboration, including national programs from North America, South America, Australia, Europe, and Asia.

For the most up-to-date information about ASCEND, RSVP here.

AIAA Media Contact: Rebecca B. Gray,, 804-397-5270 cell

Powered by AIAA, ASCEND promotes the collaborative, interdisciplinary, outcomes-driven community of professionals, students, and serious enthusiasts around the world who are accelerating humanity’s progress toward our off-world future! For more information, visit, or follow ASCEND on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn.

About AIAA
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 91 countries, and 100 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit, or follow AIAA on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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