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17 May 2021 Update: 2021 ASCEND Guiding Coalition Announced

The ASCEND Guiding Coalition (GC) is perhaps the most accomplished off-world advisory board on Earth. Representing the highest levels of technical, scientific, and engineering leadership in government, industry, the military, and academia, GC members play an active role in crafting and championing the ASCEND program to maximize its global reach and impact.

“As the interconnections between space and the world economy grow deeper, it is important for everyone interested in the future to keep a wide perspective on the changes and technologies ahead,” said GC member George Whitesides, Chair of the Space Advisory Board for Virgin Galactic. “The Guiding Coalition of ASCEND helps shape the agenda of this event, making sure that we stay abreast of the latest developments and pioneering people impacting our industry.”

Thanks to the leadership and dedication of the GC, the ASCEND program attracts a multidisciplinary community of students, professionals, and serious enthusiasts — from classrooms through careers — who are actively pursuing their interests in space. This includes “endemic” aeronautic and astronautic sectors traditionally served by AIAA, and “adjacent” sectors that see space as a new place to build, work, and live.

Whether you’re already active in the ASCEND community or just beginning to explore our space, scroll down to meet the members of the 2021 Guiding Coalition, and start planning your trajectory to join them at ASCEND in November.

Rob Meyerson
Executive Producer, ASCEND

Nina Armagno
U.S. Space Force

Sirisha Bandla
Virgin Galactic

Arthur William (Bill) Beckman
The Boeing Company

Bobby Braun
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab

Tory Bruno
United Launch Alliance

Michael Costas

Robert Curbeam

Mary Lynne Dittmar
Dittmar and Associates

Dan Dumbacher

Debra Facktor
AIRBUS U.S. Space & Defense, Inc.

Alec Gallimore
University of Michigan

Mike Gazarik
Ball Aerospace

Bill Gerstenmaier

Alexis Harroun
Ph.D. Student, Purdue University

Tim Hughes

Phil Ingle
Morgan Stanley

Robert Lightfoot
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company

Sandra Magnus
AstroPlanetview, LLC

Jim Maser
Aerojet Rocketdyne

Clay Mowry

Blue Origin

Dava Newman
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Todd M. Nygren
The Aerospace Corporation

Shawna Pandya
Project PoSSUM / Association for Spaceflight Professionals

Cheryl Reed
Northrop Grumman

Andrew Rush

Melissa Sampson
Ball Aerospace

Robbie Schingler

Kay Sears
Lockheed Martin

Wanda Sigur
NASEM Space Technology Industry-Government-University Roundtable

Ellen Stofan
Smithsonian Institution

George Whitesides
Virgin Galactic

Thomas Zurbuchen

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