ASCEND announced on Monday its 2021 Guiding Coalition. The Coalition is an advisory board of technical, scientific, engineering and business leaders selected to help maximize ASCEND's mission. The board will include Mike Costas, general manager and principal vice president of Bechtel's Defense and Space business line.
Costas said that the Coalition is “The infrastructure needed to grow the space industry in the coming years will be complex and requires cooperation from a large and diverse supply chain.”
“ASCEND recognizes that adjacent industries beyond traditional aerospace companies will be needed to propel this growth. It was the same more than 60 years ago when Bechtel first worked for the U.S. space program. We see a bright future and our support will continue,” Costas added.
Long-term space exploration and exploitation will require infrastructure on Earth, in low-Earth orbit, on the moon or in deep space will require master planning, management of complex megaprojects, first-of-a-kind technologies, detailed design and engineering and construction in remote or harsh environments.
The 33 members of the 2021 ASCEND Guiding Coalition bring a treasure trove of experience, from space exploration and vehicle design to communications, government and finance, to solve the complicated challenges in the space sector.
ASCEND is powered by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and was launched in 2020 to accelerate space commerce, exploration and discovery. The annual event this November follows a quarterly series of 2021 ASCENDx programs online. The November event will be live in Las Vegas and online everywhere.
The November Event’s program will host presentations by notable thought leaders and rising industry leaders. The content will focus on big picture challenges, paths to success, innovation applications and the exponential value of interdisciplinary collaboration in outer space.
"ASCEND is connecting leaders across disciplines in bold, new ways. AIAA is unique in our ability to convene the technical conversation, so that expertise can inform the economics and the policies of space exploration," said Dan Dumbacher, AIAA executive director.
"We want to have the hard conversations and drive the intentional outputs to accelerate building our off-world future,” concluded Dumbacher.