ASCENDxTexas to Focus on Accelerating the Business of Space Exploration Written 18 April 2022



April 18, 2022 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) announced the program for its collaborative event focused on growing the Texas space ecosystem and our off-world future – ASCENDxTexas – 27-28 April, University of Houston – Clear Lake Wellness Center, Houston, Texas. This new event will bring together more than 200 people from government, industry, academia, and the investment community to gain fresh insights on the lunar exploration market, discover opportunities, explore commercialization efforts, and learn how industry and government are evolving approaches to enable faster outcomes.

Registration for the ASCENDxTexas is open for the aerospace community to attend in person. Journalists who wish to cover this event can request a Press Pass here.

Attendees will gain in-depth insights about Artemis and other signature programs, and how these programs may serve as the anchor customer for future commercial missions to low Earth orbit, the moon, Mars, and beyond. The ASCENDxTexas program features a diverse group of visionaries and leaders:

  • Ahsan Choudhuri, Associate Vice President, Aerospace Center, and Professor, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Carissa Christensen, CEO, BryceTech
  • Mike Gold, Executive Vice President, Civil Space and External Affairs, Redwire Space
  • Janet Kavandi, President, Sierra Space
  • Bhavya Lal, Associate Administrator, Office of Technology, Policy and Strategy, NASA
  • Kathryn Lueders, Associate Administrator, Space Operations, NASA
  • Jeffrey Manber, President, International and Space Stations, Voyager Space
  • Dave Martin, Houston Mayor Pro Tem
  • Rob Meyerson, CEO, Delalune Space
  • John Mulholland, Vice President and Program Manager, International Space Station, The Boeing Company
  • Michael Palank, General Partner, MaC Venture Capital
  • Benjamin Reed, Senior Director, Human Spaceflight Programs, SpaceX
  • Brent Sherwood, Senior Vice President, Advanced Development Programs, Blue Origin
  • Kirk Shireman, Vice President, Lunar Exploration Campaign, Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Charles Stegemoeller, Senior Director, Business Development, SAIC Civil Space
  • Vanessa Wyche, Director, NASA Johnson Space Center

“We are excited to welcome the ASCEND community to ASCENDxTexas in person,” said AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher. “We see ASCENDxTexas as an opportunity to move beyond the now. The distinguished speakers will provide clarity on the lunar exploration market – supply, demand, materials, current status, and future opportunities. We encourage attendees to take advantage of this opportunity to meet other companies based in Texas and learn how they’re accelerating our progress toward an off-world future.”

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

Powered by AIAA, ASCEND, which stands for Accelerating Space Commerce, Exploration, and New Discovery, is the world’s premier collaborative, outcomes-driven, interdisciplinary community designed to accelerate the building of our off-world future. For more information, visit, or follow ASCEND on LinkedIn, Twitter, 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.