ASCEND, the interdisciplinary community on the planet dedicated to building humanity’s off-world future faster, launched a new episode of “Fast Forward – Focus on Off-World Infrastructure” featuring Michael Costas, General Manager of Defense and Space for Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security & Environmental business. Costas discusses how the acceleration of the commercial space market is opening up the need for physical structures on orbit, on the moon, and then on to Mars. He notes the structures must sustain human life, enable research, and facilitate exploration.


“Fast Forward” is an original on-demand interview series featuring champions of industries pursuing large-scale growth in space. Hosted by ASCEND’s resident futurists, Devin Liddell of Teague, and Kara Cunzeman of The Aerospace Corporation, the discussion uses common language about our off-world future and what it means for everyone on Earth. Powered by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), ASCEND was launched in 2020 to Accelerate Space Commerce, Exploration, and New Discovery. 


In the new episode, Costas shares his outlook on building structures in space that enable human missions to expand the space economy. “The increased involvement of commercialization in human space flight and the opportunity for further exploration is exciting both from the standpoint of the possibilities that it brings, but also in the impact that it can have for humanity,” said Costas. “Since 1961, Bechtel has supported the space market and continues today to support its customers with a lean-forward approach.” Costas shares more ideas in his article on the ASCEND blog, “10 Reasons Infrastructure is the Next Big Growth Sector in Space.”


The next episode of “Fast Forward” will feature ASCEND telecommunications champion Brian Barritt, Engineering Manager, Meta Connectivity (formerly Facebook).


Hear more about large-scale growth in space at 2021 ASCEND, set for 8–10 and 15–17 November, showcasing a hybrid blend of in-person programming in Las Vegas (Caesars Forum) and Washington, D.C., and online programming on all six days. ASCEND is an event open to everyone who loves space. The public is invited to register now at the best rates. The full agenda and confirmed speakers are available at ascen


# # #


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.