IAC—ASCEND (“Accelerating Space Commerce, Exploration, and New Discovery”) officially launched today. Powered by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the 16–18 November 2020 event in Las Vegas is designed to be the world’s first outcomes-focused, transdisciplinary conference designed to accelerate the building of our off-world future.
Achieving the phenomenal growth widely forecasted for the emerging space economy—$1 trillion globally by 20401—demands new and creative avenues for meaningful collaboration and ideas exchange across a greater diversity of stakeholders than ever previously convened. To address this need, AIAA, the world’s largest aerospace technical society, is working with the space industry leaders on ASCEND’s Guiding Coalition, including representatives from Lockheed Martin, the Aerospace Corporation, United Launch Alliance, and the University of Colorado Boulder, among many others, to build and launch ASCEND.
“The ASCEND attendees will work together to make meaningful decisions, get tangible work done on the spot and take concrete steps toward our off-world future,” said Rob Meyerson, ASCEND executive producer, and former president, Blue Origin. “The entire space ecosystem is being brought together for the first time at ASCEND for learning, technology exploration, problem solving and deal making.”
Attendees will work across disciplines to plot the course of the industry’s future, to showcase ideas and technology advancements, to test products and meet the people who built them, and to connect and problem solve with experts from every sector. The ASCEND agenda is being designed to spur large-scale discussions of the trends, economic forces, and challenges facing every member of the space ecosystem; to allow for focused conversations to apply these big ideas to different sectors, projects, and use cases; and to exchange technical content and go deep into specific advancements and discoveries. Speakers and sessions are being finalized for a program organized across a tremendous range of space-related topic areas:
Space Traffic Management
In Situ/Space Resource Utilization
Lunar and Mars Architectures and Infrastructure
In-Space Manufacturing and Assembly
National Security Space
National Science Priorities
Space Policy and Law
Advanced Propulsion and Power
Information Systems, Communications, and Cybersecurity
Life Sciences and Systems
Education, Outreach, and Workforce Development
Investment, Finance, and Business Development
Transformative Research and Technologies
“ASCEND is connecting leaders across disciplines in bold, new ways so that the technical expertise informs the economics and the policies of space exploration, with an understanding of the environmental perspective. AIAA is unique in our ability to convene that kind of conversation,” said Dan Dumbacher, AIAA executive director. “We want to have the hard conversations and drive the intentional outputs so that progress can be seen from year to year on the hurdles that need to be addressed to accelerate building our off-world future.”
A special Inaugural rate for this international space economy flagship event will be offered to the first 300 registrants. Please visit the ASCEND website (www.ascend.events) for complete details.
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is nearly 30,000 engineers and scientists from 91 countries dedicated to the global aerospace profession. AIAA convenes yearly forums; publishes books, technical journals, and Aerospace America; hosts a collection of 160,000 technical papers; develops and maintains standards; honors members and celebrates their achievement; and advocates on policy issues. AIAA serves aerospace professionals around the world—who are shaping the future of aerospace—by providing the tools, insights, and collaborative exchanges to advance the state of the art in engineering and science for aviation, space, and defense. Visit www.aiaa.org.
1 Morgan Stanley Research, https://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/investing-in-space