The ASCEND Diverse Dozen are sharing their timely views in a collection of op-eds on the most important, salient issues surrounding safety, security, and sustainability in the context of space traffic. Led by Moriba Jah from the University of Texas at Austin, the Diverse Dozen (listed below) are influential thinkers and emerging leaders from around the globe who presented their messages as rapid-fire lightning talks during the 2021 ASCEND centerpiece annual event in Las Vegas. Powered by AIAA, ASCEND is the global interdisciplinary community dedicated to building humanity’s off-world future that held its annual event on 8-10 and 15-17 November. 


This collection of op-eds comes at an ideal time when the United States is maintaining its White House-level focus on space policy through the National Space Council. At the first meeting of the Biden Administration’s National Space Council on 1 December, the attendees addressed the issue of space traffic management. AIAA believes the United States must lead in gathering the international community to establish best practices, standards, and norms of behavior for both governmental and commercial space activities. Domestically, AIAA urges Congress to codify Space Policy Directive-3 and to provide the necessary resources to the Office of Space Commerce in the Department of Commerce to tackle the important issue of space traffic management.


2021 Cohort of the Space Traffic Management Diverse Dozen

  • Ilaria Cinelli, Space Healthcare and Business Developer, AIKO (Italy)
  • Elena Cirkovic, Researcher, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) (Canada, Bosnia, Finland)
  • Victoria Carter-Cortez, Space Strategy Consultant, PwC (France, Bolivia, UK)
  • Hjalte Osborn Frandsen, Researcher, University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Victoria Krivova, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Russia)
  • Emma Louden, Ph.D. Student, Yale University (USA)
  • Minoo Rathnasabapathy, Research Engineer, Space Enabled Research Group, MIT Media Lab (Australia, South Africa, USA)
  • Giuliana Rotola, Implementation Support Office, Global Expert Group on Sustainable Lunar Activities (GEGSLA) (Italy)
  • Cassandra Steer, Senior Lecturer, Australian National University College of Law; and Mission Specialist, Australian National University Institute for Space (Australia)
  • Mina Takla, CEO & Co-Founder, CosmoX, Inc. (Egypt, USA)
  • Nidhi Sandeep Vasaikar, Aerospace Engineer, Godrej Aerospace (India)


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Media Contact: Rebecca B. Gray,, 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, 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, and follow AIAA on TwitterFacebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.