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Excellence in Aerospace

Celebrate Your Peers Top Achievements at 2024 ASCEND.

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Recognizing Excellence in Aerospace within the ASCEND and AIAA Community

ASCEND is committed to ensuring that aerospace professionals are recognized and celebrated for their achievements, innovations, and discoveries that advance science and technology in space. From the major missions that reimagine how we utilize air and space to the new applications that enhance everyday living on Earth and beyond, join us in celebrating the aerospace professionals that leverage their knowledge for the benefit of all.

Celebrate During 2024 ASCEND
AIAA Lectures and Awards
Dante S. Lauretta 2024

2024 von Kármán Lecture in Astronautics

Tuesday, 30 July, 10:45–11:45 a.m. PT

Dante S. Lauretta, Regents Professor, University of Arizona, Tucson

Lecture: Unlocking the Secrets of Our Solar System’s History: The OSIRIS-REx Journey

This lecture is named in honor of Theodore von Kármán, a world-famous authority on aerospace sciences. The award of this lecture honors an individual who has performed notably and distinguished themselves technically in the field of astronautics.

Sir Martin Sweeting 2024

2024 AIAA David W Thompson Lecture in Space Commerce Award

Tuesday, 30 July, 12–12:45 p.m. PT

Sir Martin Nicholas Sweeting, Executive Chairman, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd; Distinguished Professor, Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey

Lecture: Small Satellites – The Foundation of NewSpace

The David W. Thompson Lecture in Space Commerce Award provides an annual lecture to recognize a prominent industry leader or senior management team (up to three individuals) who have created or grown a space-related business and generated substantial economic benefits and market value. The award is sponsored and endowed by Orbital ATK Inc., to commemorate the long and distinguished career of commercial space pioneer, David W. Thompson

MiMi Aung 2024

2024 AIAA Hap Arnold Award for Excellence in Aeronautical Program Management

Tuesday, 30 July, 8 a.m. PT

Accepting the award: MiMi Aung, Director, Technical Program Management, Project Kuiper, Amazon (Formerly Project Manager for Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Citation: “For exceptional project management and leadership in delivery of the first aircraft on another planet, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, advancing planetary exploration state of the art, and providing a new Mars exploration technology.”

This award is presented to an individual for outstanding contributions in the management of a significant aeronautical or aeronautical-related program or project.

SpaceSystemsAward thumbnail 2

2024 AIAA Space Systems Award

Wednesday, 31 July, 8 a.m. PT

Accepting the award:
Elena Adams, DART Mission Systems Engineer
Elizabeth A. Congdon, DART Mechanical Systems Engineer
Geffrey K. Ottman, DART Electrical Systems Engineer
Evan James Smith, DART Deputy Mission Systems Engineer
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Citation: “For outstanding achievement in the development and operation of the DART spacecraft, completing humanity’s first in-space demonstration of planetary defense technology.”

This award is presented to recognize outstanding achievements in the architecture, analysis, design, and implementation of space systems.

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