2023 ASCEND Announces Livestream Sessions Beginning Monday, October 23 Written 20 October 2023


2023-ASCEND-Livestream-graphicOctober 20, 2023 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) today announced five sessions during 2023 ASCEND will be shared via livestream on its website, ascend.events, providing complimentary access to stellar content featured during the event, 23–25 October, Caesars Forum, Las Vegas. The livestream recordings will be made available for on-demand viewing at ascend.events/livestream later each day. ASCEND is the world’s premier outcomes-focused, interdisciplinary space event designed to accelerate building our off-world future.

The sessions to be shared via livestream during 2023 ASCEND include:

Monday, 23 October, 0800–0930 hrs PT           
MACRO-01: From Dreaming to Doing: Utilizing Creativity and Imagination to Accelerate our Off-World Future

  • Lieutenant General Nina Armagno, U.S. Space Force (Ret.)
  • Kara Cunzeman, Director of Strategic Foresight, Center for Space Policy and Strategy, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Debra Facktor, Head of U.S. Space Systems, Airbus U.S. Space & Defense
  • Dan Hawk, Principal Scientist, United First Nations Planetary Defense
  • Jay Kim, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Boryung
  • Afua Richardson, Artist
  • Daniel Suarez, New York Times Bestselling Science Fiction Author
  • Julie Van Kleeck, ASCEND Executive Producer, AIAA Space Domain Lead

The opening program will explore what it means to create and inspire, and why systematic thinking about the future is essential for building humanity’s sustainable off-world futures. We will hear voices from the future and learn from established leaders about how to mobilize organizations and empower individual agency to get there.

Monday, 23 October, 1245–1345 hrs PT
SPEC-14: 2023 AIAA David W. Thompson Lecture in Space Commerce: “Connecting Space to Earth”
Speaker: George Whitesides, Partner, Convective Capital

The 2023 AIAA David W. Thompson Lecture in Space Commerce has been awarded to George T. Whitesides, Partner, Convective Capital. Previously, Whitesides served as Chief of Staff for NASA in the Obama Administration, and later as CEO of Virgin Galactic, which over 10 years he led to space operations and a public company listing. He co-founded Megafire Action, an advocacy organization that supports solutions to the wildfire crisis, and is a partner at Convective Capital, a firm that invests in firetech companies. He is the cofounder of AstroAccess, a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging universal design and accessibility principles in spaceflight.

Whitesides’ lecture, “Connecting Space to Earth,” will address this moment in time when aerospace lessons and solutions can help solve the world’s greatest challenges.

Tuesday, 24 October, 0800–0930 hrs PT
MACRO-02 Session

Award Presentation: 2023 AIAA von Braun Award for Excellence in Space Program Management to John M. Grunsfeld, Endless Frontier Associates LLC

Keynote: NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, “Exploration Enabled: Creating a Framework to Ensure Responsible Access for All”

Panel: Accelerating Sustainable Space Exploration Through Global Cooperation, including panelists:

  • Peter Gräf, Director for Applications and Science, German Space Agency (DLR)
  • Lt. Gen. Larry James, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), Deputy Director, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Daniel Neuenschwander, Director for Human and Robotic Exploration, European Space Agency (ESA)
  • Shri M. Sankaran, Distinguished Scientist and Director, U R Rao Satellite Center (URSC), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
  • Hiroshi Sasaki, Vice President and Director General for Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate, JAXA

Tuesday morning will open with an award presentation recognizing aerospace excellence. The presentations will include a keynote address from NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, followed by a panel discussion featuring space agency leaders from around the world. They will address how their capabilities and technical advancements are being applied to solve the societal problems across the globe; how they are partnering across the spectrum with other national agencies, commercial entities, and private companies; and what they are investing in for the future.

Tuesday, 24 October, 1830–1930 hrs PT
SPEC-32: 2023 William H. Pickering Lecture: “Observing Earth's Precious Water from Space”

  • Parag Vaze, Project Manager, Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) Mission, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Nadya Vinogradova Shiffer, Program Scientist and Manager, Physical Oceanography Program, Earth Science Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA

The 2023 William H. Pickering Lecture will explore a space mission that will address some of Earth’s most pressing climate change questions of our time by informing decisions about our daily lives and livelihoods. The SWOT Mission was developed jointly by NASA and the French space agency, CNES, with contributions from the UK and Canadian space agencies. Using state-of-the-art “radar interferometry” technology, SWOT is measuring the elevation of water to observe millions of lakes and wetlands with surface areas 250 m2 and thousands of rivers whose width exceeds 100 m, while detecting ocean features with unprecedented resolution, accuracy, and spatial coverage. The primary science payload, a novel Ka-band Radar Interferometer (KaRIn), is the first in-flight demonstration of wide-swath (2, 50Km swaths) SAR interferometry for more accurate and comprehensive mapping of Earth’s ocean and surface water from space.

Wednesday, 25 October, 0800–0930 hrs PT
MACRO-03: What Has Space Done for Me Lately?

  • Bryan Bender, Vice President, Communications Strategy, Strategic Marketing Innovations, Inc. (former Senior National Correspondent and Defense Editor, POLITICO)
  • Dan Dumbacher, AIAA Executive Director
  • Emma Louden, Astrophysics Ph.D. Candidate, Yale University
  • Shawna Pandya, Director, International Institute for Astronautical Sciences Space Medicine Group

“Why explore space when we have so many challenges on Earth?” This is an all-too-common refrain when it comes to justifying space exploration, with many answers. On the one hand, humanity has benefited tremendously from space-based technologies, satellites, and exploration; on the other hand, what if we took a more directed approach toward solving humanity's greatest challenges? Or perhaps we aren't investing in space enough? Watch as our panel of experts discuss the various contributions space-based technologies have made toward improving day-to-day life on Earth and address some of the common arguments against continued investment in space development and exploration.

In addition, the following session will be recorded and will be available on demand at ascend.events/livestream:

Monday, 23 October, 1130–1230 hrs PT
(not available via livestream, only on-demand viewing at ascend.events/livestream)
SPEC-13: 2023 AIAA von Kármán Lecture in Astronautics: “Celebrating a Century of Kármán’s Momentum-Integral and Space-Reductive Approaches: Applications in Rocketry and Beyond”
Speaker: Joseph Majdalani, Francis Chair of Excellence and Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Auburn University

The 2023 AIAA von Kármán Lectureship in Astronautics has been awarded to Joseph Majdalani, Francis Chair of Excellence and Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Auburn University. Named in honor of Theodore von Kármán, a world-famous authority on aerospace sciences, the lectureship honors an individual who has performed notably and distinguished themselves technically in the field of astronautics.

Majdalani’s lecture celebrates the centennial of the momentum-integral approach, one of the most significant theoretical contributions of Theodore von Kármán, taught widely in the fields of
aerodynamics. He will discuss the broad impact of this approach, which was introduced in 1921, and often used in conjunction with Pohlhausen’s polynomial approximations. As a well-recognized authority in the field, Majdalani has recently coauthored a textbook on the subject of viscous boundary layers. He also has developed several new formulations based on Kármán’s approach: these lead to an essentially exact solution to the celebrated Blasius equation, whose analytical treatment has remained intractable for over 100 years.

Registration to attend 2023 ASCEND in Las Vegas is still open. Journalists from around the world are invited to cover 2023 ASCEND in person; press passes are available for credentialed media by request

Media Contact: Rebecca Gray, RebeccaG@AIAA.org, 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 ascend.events, 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 www.aiaa.org, or follow AIAA on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.