“Fast Forward,” ASCEND’s New On-Demand Interview Series, Envisions Our Off-World Future Written 7 September 2021

Pilot Episode Forecasts Biomedical Discoveries in Space that Will Improve Life on Earth

FFWD-logo-updated-1000September 7, 2021 – Reston, Va. – ASCEND, the only community on the planet dedicated to building humanity’s off-world future faster, today premiered “Fast Forward” – an original on-demand interview series featuring champions of industries pursuing large-scale growth in space. Powered by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), ASCEND was launched in 2020 to Accelerate Space Commerce, Exploration, and New Discovery. ASCEND’s centerpiece annual event will convene this November.

“Fast Forward” is hosted by two of the most space-obsessed prognosticators on the planet — Devin Liddell, principal futurist at Teague, a design and innovation firm, and Kara Cunzeman, lead futurist for strategic foresight for the Center for Space Policy and Strategy at The Aerospace Corporation.

“People tend to think of space as some faraway realm, the exclusive domain of NASA and astronauts. On ‘Fast Forward,’we’ll try to demystify space by presenting a rich discussion in everyday terms about the off-world future and what that means for all of us,” said Liddell.

The pilot episode, “Accelerating Biomedical R&D in Space,” features Rich Boling, Vice President of Techshot, a one-stop commercial research and manufacturing gateway to space. The company works with NASA and the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory to operate its equipment onboard the station.

Boling is optimistic about the prospects for industry-specific technology, science, and engineering advances in microgravity to improve life on Earth. “This is the golden age of human spaceflight. Never before have so many options been available to so many people to conduct biomedical R&D in microgravity – aboard aircraft in parabolic flight, suborbital rockets and spaceplanes, orbital-class capsules and space planes, and space stations,” said Boling. “As costs come down, more companies are getting into the game. To many, conducting biomedical R&D in microgravity is now considered just another opportunity to gain an advantage over competitors.”

Read more from Boling in his article on the ASCEND blog, “10 Reasons Biomedical R&D is the Next Big Growth Sector in Space.”
Future episodes of “Fast Forward” will feature executives from other adjacent, non-space industries including ASCEND infrastructure champion Michael Costas, General Manager for Defense and Space at Bechtel Nuclear, Security and Environmental, and ASCEND telecommunications champion Brian Barritt, Facebook Engineering Manager focused on connectivity.

“If you did cross-enterprise mapping over these adjacent sectors, you’d find a lot of opportunities that are not being pursued because they haven’t been addressed or identified,” said Cunzeman. “‘Fast Forward’will accelerate our awareness and sharpen our focus.”

Hear more about large-scale growth in space at the ASCEND centerpiece annual event. Join the conversation live in Las Vegas and Washington, DC, and online everywhere, 8–10 and 15–17 November. Registration is open now, with early-bird pricing available through 15 September.

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

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 ascend.events, or follow ASCEND on TwitterFacebook, 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 www.aiaa.org, or follow AIAA on TwitterFacebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.