The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is pleased to announce that NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, Lockheed Martin Corp. CEO Marillyn Hewson, and Venture Capitalist Steve Jurvetson have joined the notable roster of speakers at ASCEND, a new space economy event, held 16-18 November in Las Vegas, Nev.


ASCEND is the first transdisciplinary, outcomes-focused event that brings together the top decision makers to focus on the challenges and opportunities of living off world,” said Rob Meyerson, ASCEND executive producer and former president of Blue Origin. “Bridenstine, Hewson, and Jurvetson will add powerful insight to the new space economy conversation, spurring more discussions, connections, and solutions. ASCEND is the place to be for anyone invested in expanding our human neighborhood.”


Jim Bridenstine became NASA’s 13th administrator in 2018. He was elected in 2012 to represent Oklahoma’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served on the Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Bridenstine’s career in federal service began in the U.S. Navy, flying the E-2C Hawkeye off the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier. It was there that he flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and accrued most of his 1,900 flight hours and 333 carrier-arrested landings.


Marillyn A. Hewson is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation. She joined Lockheed Martin more than 35 years ago as an industrial engineer. Hewson serves on the Board of Directors of Johnson & Johnson, the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, the Board of Governors of the USO, and as Chair of the Catalyst Board of Directors. She has also served on several U.S. government advisory bodies, including current appointments to the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board and the National Space Council’s Users’ Advisory Group. 


Steve Jurvetson is an early-stage venture capitalist with a focus on founder-led, mission-driven companies at the cutting edge of disruptive technology and new industry formation. Jurvetson was the early VC investor in SpaceX, Tesla, Planet, Memphis Meats, Hotmail, and the deep learning companies Mythic and Nervana. He also led founding investments in five companies that went public in successful IPOs and several others that became billion-dollar acquisitions. He currently serves on the boards of Tesla, SpaceX and D-Wave (the quantum computing company).


Built from the ground up by space professionals, ASCEND uses AIAA’s world-renowned technical content to inform the creation of the new space ecosystem. The event will bring together scientists, engineers, economists, medical professionals, educators, legal professionals, artists, investors, and entrepreneurs to network, share ideas, and develop solutions. 


ASCEND, happening 16–18 November 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada, will focus on three macro themes:

  • Accelerating the near-term commercialization of space
  • Enabling the long-term human exploration and settlement of space
  • Exploring the security, policy, and legal ramifications of space endeavors

The Call for Content is open until 17 March.


To submit a media credential request, please visit:


CONTACT: Michele McDonald, 703.264.7542,


ASCEND stands for Accelerating Space Commerce, Exploration and New Discovery, and is designed to bring together technical and business leaders to solve problems that affect the entire planet and beyond. Powered by AIAA, ASCEND’s inaugural event will occur 16–18 November 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, please visit, or follow ASCEND on TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn.


About AIA

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 85 countries, and 95 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit, or follow AIAA on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn.