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2022 ASCEND to Kick Off with NASA, The Aerospace Corporation, SpaceX, U.S. Space Force


Broad, Bold Perspectives from Inspired Visionaries Lead the Three-Day Event in Las Vegas

August 30, 2022 – Reston, Va. – ASCEND, the world’s premier outcomes-focused, interdisciplinary space event designed to accelerate building our off-world future faster, today announced its agenda for the 2022 ASCEND apex event, 24-26 October at Caesars Forum, Las Vegas, and online. Details are available at Early-bird registration rates are available through midnight, Friday, 9 September; space is limited. Journalists around the world are invited to cover 2022 ASCEND; press passes are available for credentialed media by request.

Powered by AIAA, 2022 ASCEND will open on Monday, 24 October, with perspectives from:

  • Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno, Director of Staff, U.S. Space Force
  • James Free, Associate Administrator, Exploration Systems Development, NASA
  • Pam Melroy, Deputy Administrator, NASA
  • Todd Nygren, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Technology Group, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Ellen Ochoa, Astronaut; former Director, NASA Johnson Space Center
  • Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO, SpaceX
  • Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA

The three-day program is packed with speakers from leading space organizations and adjacent industries including Axiom Space, Barclays Capital, Maxar Technologies, MIT, NASA, and SpaceX, among others. During the more than 147 sessions across 16 space domain topics, speakers and attendees will tackle important issues and explore exciting opportunities in low Earth orbit and beyond, including:

  • Space Traffic Management and Coordination
  • Sustainable Space Exploration
  • Outpacing the Space Threat
  • Using Space to Protect Our Planet
  • A Competitive and Burgeoning Space Economy
  • Developing the Space Workforce of Tomorrow
  • The Future of Cislunar and Lunar Exploration

2022 ASCEND attendees will experience the energy of presentations by our planet’s off-world pioneers, including Fortune 500 executives, established space agency leaders, government and military officials, professional and citizen astronauts, “new space” companies, international organizations, university professors and students, and start-up CEOs. In addition to the opening speakers, 2022 ASCEND will feature over 250 speakers, including:

  • Bill Beckman, Director, NASA Programs, The Boeing Company
  • Steve “Bucky” Butow, Director, Space Portfolio, Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)
  • Mark Daley, Deputy Director, Office of Space Commerce, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Debra Facktor, Head of U.S. Space Systems, Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc.
  • Paula Grisanti, CEO, National Stem Cell Foundation
  • John Guiney, Vice President, Fleet Operations Management, OneWeb
  • Fiona Harrison, Harold A. Rosen Professor of Physics; Kent and Joyce Kresa Leadership Chair, Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology
  • Amy Hopkins, President, Capella Space Federal
  • Kathleen Howell, Hsu Lo Distinguished Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University
  • Moriba Jah, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, Privateer Space
  • Lt. Gen. Larry D. James, USAF (Ret.), Deputy Director, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Steve Jurczyk, Co-Founder and CEO, Quantum Space LLC
  • Bhavya Lal, Associate Administrator, Technology, Policy, and Strategy, NASA
  • Joe Landon, Vice President, Advanced Programs Development, Lockheed Martin
  • Mark Mozena, Vice President, Government Affairs, Planet
  • Kursten O’Neill, Vice President, Dream Chaser Crew Program, Sierra Space
  • Jim Reuter, Associate Administrator, Space Technology Mission Directorate, NASA
  • Andrew Rush, President and COO, Redwire Space
  • Janice Starzyk, Vice President, Government Operations, Virgin Orbit
  • Erika Wagner, Senior Director, Emerging Market Development, Blue Origin
  • Vanessa Wyche, Director, NASA Johnson Space Center

The 2022 ASCEND program also includes unique features to engage attendees, including:

  • The Diverse Dozen returns. This year’s cadre of young people from 10 countries will shape the dialogue around space safety, security, and sustainability under the leadership of astrodynamicist Moriba Jah, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, Privateer Space.
  • The Cyber Star Wargame will explore the implications of cybersecurity on the projection of space power.
  • The MICRO session tabletop exercise, “Defending Earth! What Can We Do to Stop an Asteroid Threat?” will walk through an asteroid threat scenario, following the META session, “Asteroids: Time Capsules and Terror.” It’s based in part on the Planetary Defense Interagency Tabletop Exercise conducted earlier in 2022.
  • Breakout workshop sessions will collect feedback to help NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate identify gaps and plan future investments.

Media contact: Rebecca B. Gray,, 804.397.5270

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

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, and follow AIAA on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.

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