Space Exploration Initiative at ASCEND 2020




Monday — Wednesday
November 16, 2020 —
November 18, 2020

SEI is participating in ASCEND 2020, a new event designed to drive the space economy forward. It’s intended to be the center of gravity for the space community—bringing technical and business leaders together to solve problems that affect our entire planet and beyond. SEI team members are participating in the following, and we'd love for you to attend:

Space Structures at Scale Meta Session

1:00 PM–2:00 PM Nov 17, 2020 (ET)

Ariel Ekblaw is moderating.

Also featuring: Michael Costas - Bechtel, Thomas Heatherwick -  Heatherwick Studios, Lara Kearney -  NASA Johnson Space Center, Christian Maender - Axiom Space, and Andrew Rush - Made in Space/Redwire

Description: As LEO commercialization moves from cautious early entrants to a burgeoning global effort, we’ll need space structures built at scale–for government labs, academic research, industry R&D, and space tourism. These structures will need all the considerations of resource-constrained habitats on Earth (power generation and construction optimization, sustainable and closed-loop life support, interior space allocation, user-centric design, and more), while also relying on the rigors of aerospace engineering to survive in the unique challenges of the space environment. Listen to the leading minds in construction at mega-scale, to the architects, urban planners, and space engineers who will finally realize humanity’s centuries-old ambition of living in space habitats amongst the stars.

Prototyping Frameworks for a Lunar Open Architecture Workshop

4:00 PM–6:00 PM Nov 16, 2020 (ET)

Mehak Sarang, Ariel Ekblaw, and Kate McCall-Kiley are session leads.

Description: Diversity in the space industry is increasing, and more countries and private entities are proposing or participating in a variety of near and mid term lunar missions. Collaboration will be imperative to cultivate a sustainable and peaceful lunar future. In this new era of lunar exploration, developing a coordinated infrastructure will be influenced by the rapidly evolving nature of the industry. Collaboration and information sharing have been limited by the dominant utilized mechanisms - large, static roadmaps developed by singular organizations or committees. To speak to the global need for broader information sharing, we are developing an open lunar architecture -- a curated, dynamic, and interactive resource to unify existing lunar exploration roadmaps, and extend them into the 21st century. In this session, we provide working prototypes of the browser-based, open, lunar architecture for participants to use and provide feedback. We'll discuss the tool itself and database creation and management, fostering new conversations regarding information sharing and knowledge creation in the industry.

Convening the Space Design Community Town Hall

2:00 PM–4:00 PM Nov 17, 2020 (ET)

Sands Fish and Ariel Ekblaw are session leads.

Description: What does a human-centered design community and philosophy look like in the context of the space industry? How do we define "design"?

Previous ASCEND events

SEI has participated in these previous ASCEND events:

Ariel Ekblaw was a panelist for the Economically Viable Lunar Settlement panel, which was organized by AIAA and underwritten by Dynetics, and featured a panel of experts who discussed a range of considerations that underlie the U.S. government’s goal of establishing a settlement on the moon as a gateway to further exploration of the solar system. Watch the recording here.

Ariel Ekblaw was a speaker at the Space Policy and Education ASCENDxSummit on the University Space Exploration Panel. Catch Ariel here (starting at 44:57).

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