Sugar Land Space Cowboys
vs. Albuquerque Isotopes

Wednesday, August 21
Constellation Field, Sugar Land, Texas


Thank you to the Spaceball Colorado Sponsors and Supporters


The Foundation

The Future Space Leaders Foundation (“FSLF”) is a tax exempt 501 c 3 non-profit organization dedicated to the career development of young space and satellite industry professionals. The Foundation organizes events and raises funds for grants to deserving graduate students and young professionals. FSLF works in cooperation with other non-profits, companies and government agencies on space-related educational events. FSLF is also actively promoting the professional development of young Americans targeting careers in the academic fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (“STEAM”).

Through its annual Future Space event, FSLF advances learning and fosters interaction among current space and satellite industry leaders with graduate students and young professionals. The Foundation made eight grant awards in 2013-2014 to outstanding American graduate students and young professionals enabling them to attend and present papers at major space-related symposia and conferences including the IAF International Astronautical Congress, SGAC Space Congress, AAS Goddard Memorial Symposium, NSC Goddard Dinner, Satellite 2014, SSPI Gala, AIAA Spotlight Awards and ISPCS.

Our Mission

  • To advance learning and professional enrichment of young space professionals and future leaders pursuing careers in the fields of space and satellites.

  • To stimulate the professional growth and enhancement of future space professionals and to foster cooperation and interaction among current leaders in the space field with graduate students and young professionals seeking to pursue careers in the fields of space and satellites.

  • To assist graduate students and young professionals in attending space and satellite industry conferences and events through grants covering legitimate travel and registration related expenses.


Board of Directors

Bradley Cheetham, Advanced Space

Sirisha Bandla, Virgin Galactic
Vice Chair

Jackie Cortese, Blue Origin

Lyn D. Wigbels, AAS
Awards Chair

Debra Facktor, AIRBUS U.S. Space & Defense, Inc.

Joe Landon, Crescent Space

Aaron Lewis, Arianespace

Eric Stallmer, Voyager Space Holdings

Brett Silcox

Yasmine Almond, Advanced Space
Executive Director


Awards Committee
Lyn D. Wigbels

American Astronautical Society

Program Committee
Yasmine Almond

Advisory Board

Clayton Mowry, Voyager Space Holdings
Chair Emeritus

Carissa Christensen, Bryce

Brett Alexander, Firefly

Lori Garver, Founder of The Brooke Owens Fellowship

William A. Klanke, Space Intel Report

James V. Zimmerman


Main Sponsors
General Sponsors
Supporting Organizations
Past Sponsors


On July 10, 2024, the Future Space Leaders Foundation will host a two-part event for its 13th annual Future Space event in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill. The panels and some keynotes will take place at the Hart Senate office which includes a light fast casual launch at the Senate. The lunch event will play host to a range of space company hardware pieces for display to attendees. The conference will continue at Hogan Lovells, 555 13th St NW, for a networking and keynote reception. The day aims at exploring cutting edge technologies and brave new applications poised to transform the space and satellite industry. Future Space 2024 part 2 will raise funds to support educational programs and networking opportunities for graduate students and young professionals pursuing careers in the space and satellite industry.


July 10, 2024 - Hart Senate Office Building (Hart 902)

12:45PM: Check-in

1:00PM: Welcome Remarks from the Chair

1:10PM: Keynote – Congressional/Administration

1:25PM: Lunar Panel

2:10PM: Keynote Speaker – NASA

2:40PM: Where’s My Next Job?

3:25PM: Networking Break

3:40PM: National Security Fireside Chat

4:15PM: Space Sustainability Panel – Orbiting Tomorrow: A Sustainable Space Odyssey

  • Moderator: Patricia Cooper
  • Dr. Thomas (Tom) Colvin, NASA, Senior Policy Advisor to the Office of Technology, Policy, and Strategy
  • Ashley VanderLey, National Science Foundation
  • Merissa Velez, FCC, Satellite Programs & Policy Division, Division Chief
  • Jennifer McClellan, Astroscale U.S. Program Manager

5:00PM: Closing Remarks

5:30-8:00PM: Reception at Hogan Lovells (555 13st St NW)

  • Congressional Remarks/Keynote Speaker

Past Future Space Agendas


July 12, 2023 - Hart Senate Office Building

10:45am: Check-In

11:00am: Welcome Remarks from Future Space Leaders Chairman Bradley Cheetham

11:10am: Commercial Exploration Panel

  • Moderator: Carissa Christensen, BryceTech
  • Brad Cheetham, Advanced Space
  • Joe Landon, Crescent Space
  • Gus Miller, Blue Origin
  • Karina Drees, Commercial Spaceflight Federation

12:00pm: Civil Space Remarks - Bob Cabana, NASA

12:30pm: Lunch & Space Experience

1:50pm: Remarks from International Astronautical Federation - Clay Mowry, President

2:15pm: White House Remarks - Diane Howard, National Space Council

2:30pm: Congressional Remarks - Senator Kyrsten Sinema

2:45pm: Civil Space Panel: On Orbit Activities – The Public, Private Perspective

  • Moderator: Eric Stallmer, Voyager Space
  • Carolyn Belle, Astroscale US
  • Patricia Cooper, Constellation Advisory, LLC
  • Caryn Schenewerk, CS Consulting

3:30pm: National Security Fireside Chat 1

  • Travis Langster, Office of Under Secretary of Defense, Department of Defense
  • Chris Beauregard, Future Space Leaders Fellow 2018

4:00pm: National Security Fireside Chat 2

  • Col. Eric Felt, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration, Department of Defense
  • Debra Facktor, U.S. Space Systems at Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc.

4:30pm: Congressional Remarks - Senator John Hickenlooper

4:45pm: Concluding Remarks - Chairman Bradley Cheetham

5:30-8:00pm: Reception at Downtown Location
Congressional Speaker - Representative Doug Lamborn


July 13, 2022

10:30am: Chair Welcome

10:45am: Commercial Panel: SPACilicious: Investment in Space

  • Moderator: Carissa Christensen, CEO, Bryce Tech
  • Tess Hatch, Bessemer Venture Partners
  • Phil Ingle, Morgan Stanley Investment Banking
  • Rob Meyerson, Delalune Space
  • Randy Segal, Hogan Lovells

11:40am: NASA Speaker on the James Webb Space Telescope: Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, NASA

12:00pm: Lunch and Networking at SH-902

1:00pm: Civil Space Panel: Commercial Space Stations: Plans and Progress on NASA Commercial LEO Destination Program

  • Moderator: Eric Stallmer, Executive Vice President, Voyager Space
  • David Marsh, Head of Strategy, Nanoracks
  • Andrei Mitran, Director, Strategy and Business Development, Northrop Grumman Civil and Commercial Space
  • Tommy Sanford, New Shepard Payload Sales Director, Blue Origin

2:00pm: Fireside Chat: Lt. Gen. John E. Shaw, Deputy Commander, U.S. Space Command and Bradley Cheetham, Chair, Future Space Leaders Foundation

2:30pm: National Security Panel: Innovation in National Security

  • Moderator: Debra Facktor, Head of U.S. Space Systems, Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc.
  • Steve J. "Bucky" Butow, Director, Space Portfolio at the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)
  • Col. Stephen Landry, Director of Innovation and Digital Transformation, Space Force
  • Derek M. Tournear, Director of the Space Development Agency (SDA)

3:15pm: Keynote Speaker: Chirag Parikh, Executive Secretary, National Space Council (NSC)

3:35pm: Concluding Remarks by Chair

Proceedings Resume at 5:30pm for Rooftop Reception at Voyager Space


July 28, 2021 – Virtual Event

9:00am: Welcome

9:03am: Rangers of the New Republic

  • Moderator: Travis Langster, COMSPOC Corp
  • Dr. Jonathan Cirtain, BWX Technologies, Vice president and Chief Technology Officer
  • Chirag Parikh, Microsoft, formerly White House and NGA
  • Audrey Schaffer, National Security Council, Director for Space Policy

9:35am: Keynote: Representative Young Oak Kim (CA)

9:45am: Keynote: Dylan Taylor, Voyager Space

9:55am: Wicked Cool Technology: The Constellation Guild

  • Moderator: Carissa Christensen
  • Patricia Cooper, former Vice President, Satellite Government Affairs, SpaceX, former President, Satellite Industry Association
  • Gerald Jannson, Director, Telesat Government Services
  • Chris McLaughlin, Chief of Government, Regulation & Engagement, OneWeb

10:35am: Foundations: Building a Sustainable Presence in Space

  • Moderator: Jacki Cortese
  • John Couluris, Vice President, Advanced Development Program
  • Dr. Cameron Meek, Advanced Space
  • Eleanor Morgan, Lockheed Martin

July 8, 2020 – Virtual Event

10:30am: Introduction

  • Clay Mowry, Chairman & Founder of the Future Space Leaders Foundation & Vice President, Blue Origin

10:40am: National Security Session

  • Maj. Gen. Pamela Lincoln
  • Sirisha Bandla, Director, Virgin Orbit

11:00am: Civil Space Session

  • NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
  • Carissa Christensen, CEO, Bryce Space & Technology

11:30am: Congressional Space Session

  • Rep. Michael Waltz
  • Rep. Xochitl Torres Small
  • Eric Stallmer, President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation

July 10, 2019

Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room: SD-G50 (Senate Dirksen on the Ground Floor), Luncheon at the Reserve Officer Association, 1 Constitution Ave NE

07:55 Welcome: Clay Mowry, Chairman & Founder of the Future Space Leaders Foundation & Vice President, Blue Origin

08:00-08:15 Opening Keynote: Maj. Gen. Nina M. Armagno, Director, Space Programs, SAF/AQS

08:15-09:15 Civil Space Panel: Human Spaceflight – The Rise of the Skywalkers

  • Opening Panel Keynote: Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator
  • Moderator: Eric Stallmer, President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation
  • Dan Nelson, Associate Technical Fellow, Spacecraft Flight Control Design and Analysis, Modeling and Simulation, Boeing
  • Nicholas Patrick, Senior Director, Human Integration, Blue Origin

09:15-09:30 Rep. Mike Waltz, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

09:30-10:30 Commercial Panel: Wicked Cool Space Technology – The Right Stuff

  • Moderator: Carissa Christensen
  • Don Brown, General Manager, Government Services, Telesat
  • Dr. Jonathan Cirtain, Vice President, Advanced Technology, BWXT
  • Shayn Hawthorne, GM, AWS Ground Station
  • Marshall Smith, Director, Human Lunar Exploration Programs, NASA

10:30-10:45 Rep. Neal Dunn, M.D. (FL-02)

10:45-11:00 Spotlight: Michael Beavin, Director of Commercial Space Policy, National Space Council, The White House

11:00-12:00 National Security Panel: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

  • Moderator: Brad Cheetham, CEO & President, Advanced Space
  • Andrew Bunker, Director, Washington Operations, United launch Alliance
  • Jeremy Kalina, Senior Manager, Raytheon Space Systems
  • Travis Langster, Vice President, DoD and Intel Space Business Development
  • Col Tony Meeks, Chief Architect, Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC)
  • Damon Wells, Director, Office of Policy and Strategy, National Reconnaissance Office

12:30-14:00 Luncheon at Reserve Officer Association “Top of the Hill”

  • Luncheon Keynote: Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA)

July 12, 2018

Russell Senate Office Building, Room: SR-325 (Kennedy Caucus Room), Breakfast and Luncheon at the Reserve Officer Association, 1 Constitution Ave NE

07:30 – 08:30 Breakfast at the Reserve Officer Association’s Atrium
8:15 Secretary Wilbur Ross, Department of Commerce

Main Program (Russell Senate Office Building – SR-325, Kennedy Caucus Room)

08:45 – 09:35 Panel 1: The Rogues Won: Civil Space Innovations and Future Plans

  • Moderator: Suzanne Gillen, Senior Director of Government Relations, Maxar Technologies
  • Sirisha Bandla, Business Development & Government Affairs Manager, Virgin Orbit
  • Abby Dickes, Director of Marketing, Communications, and Special Projects, NanoRacks
  • Ben Roberts, VP Government Affairs, Moon Express

09:35 – 09:45 Keynote: Sen. Patty Murray

09:45 – 10:00 Keynote: Lt Gen DT Thompson, USAF Space Command

10:00 – 11:00 Panel 2: Guardians of the Galaxy – Keeping National Security Space at the Cutting Edge

  • Moderator: Bradley Cheetham, CEO & President, Advanced Space
  • Brett Alexander, VP, Government Sales & Strategy, Blue Origin
  • Michael Dickey, Chief of the Space Enterprise Vision at Air Force Space Command Headquarters, USAF Space Command
  • John W. Giles, Col, USAF, Senior Policy Advisor, National Space Council
  • Travis Langster, VP DoD & Intel Space, AGI

11:00 – 11:10 Keynote: Dr. Ellen Stofan, Director of National Air and Space Museum

11:10 – 12:00 Panel 3: The Real Business of Space Business

  • Kick-off Keynote: Paul “Rusty” Thomas, DARPA TTO
  • Moderator: Carissa Christensen
  • Mike López-Alegría, Principal, Business Development, Axiom Space
  • Debra Facktor, Vice President & General Manager Strategic Operations, Ball Aerospace
  • Rich Leshner, Vice President, Regulatory and Government Affairs & Policy, Planet Labs Inc

12:00 – 12:15 Walk to Reserve Officer Association

12:15 – 14:00 Luncheon at Reserve Officer Association “Top of the Hill”

12:30 – 14:00 Luncheon Keynote: Dr. Karen St. Germain, Director, Office of Systems Architecture and Advanced Planning NOAA/NESDIS


July 13, 2017

Hart Senate Office Building, Room: SH-216, Luncheon at Capitol View at 400, 444 North Capitol St NW, Washington, DC 20001

07:30 – 08:00 Registration

08:00 – 08:15 Opening Keynote: Congressman Brian Babin

08:15 – 08:30 Keynote: Congressman Derek Kilmer

08:30 – 09:15 Session 1: National Security: Shifting Paradigms in Government-Industry Partnerships
Over the past decade, the traditional roles of government and industry have been changing as private sector investment in space technology has increased, commercial applications have proliferated, and the pace of technology innovation has greatly accelerated. Both new and traditional space companies have struggled with a government acquisition system that is slow and cumbersome and unable to match the pace of change. This panel will discuss how companies large and small and government entities are collaborating to build new relationships that can take full advantage of the changes taking place in the aerospace industry.

  • Moderator: Ray O. Johnson, Executive in Residence, Bessemer Venture Partners
  • Colonel Shahnaz M. Punjani, USAF, Director, Operationally Responsive Space Office, Space and Missile Systems Center
  • Russ Matijevich, Hawkeye360
  • Wallis Laughrey, Vice President of Space Systems, Raytheon
  • Kay Sears, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development for Space Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company
  • Debra Facktor Lepore, VP/GM, Strategic Operations and Commercial Aerospace Business Unit, Ball Aerospace

09:15 – 9:30 Morning Keynote: Congressman Jim Banks

09:30 – 9:45 Break and Networking

09:45 – 10:45 Session 2: Making Stuff Up! (Building Things in Space)
Earth has supplied everything we have used in space, but space manufacturing can change that. NASA and industry have begun bringing manufacturing to space, with 3D printing on the International Space Station, innovative pharmaceutical and other research, and advanced robotics capabilities. Where is this technology taking us and how does it change our future in space? This session brings together experts and thought leaders on space manufacturing who are literally making stuff up (in space).

  • Moderator: Carissa Christensen, CEO, Bryce Space and Technology
  • Andrew Rush, CEO, Made In Space
  • Dr. Corky Clinton, Associate Director, Technical Science and Technology Office, NASA MSFC
  • Pam Melroy, NASA/DARPA, retired

10:45 – 11:00 Closing Keynote: Congresswoman Barbara Comstock

11:00 – 12:00 Session 3: Space Market Awakens
New commercial markets in space are emerging and the fundamental drivers for these markets are new commercial opportunities. This panel will focus on these commercial opportunities and detail the relevant and serious commercial drivers supporting the industry beyond communications and remote sensing. This unique panel will cover exciting details on technical developments in suborbital spaceflight, orbital crew transportation, orbital space habitats, satellite servicing, and space resources.

  • Moderator: Lori Garver, Air Line Pilots Association and Brooke Owens Fellowship Program
  • Brad Cheetham, CEO/President, Advanced Space
  • Mike Gold, Vice President, Washington, D.C. Operations, SSL
  • Dr. Erika Wagner, Business Development Manager, Blue Origin
  • Michael López-Alegría, Axiom Space

12:30 – 13:30 Luncheon at The Capitol View at 400 – sponsored by Ball Aerospace

Lunch Keynote: Dr. David A. Hardy, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force (Space), Office of the Under Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.


July 14, 2016

Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 106; Luncheon at Reserve Officer Association building, at the Top of The Hill, 1 Constitution Ave NE

07:30 – 08:00 Registration and Welcome Breakfast – sponsored by Lockheed Martin Corporation

08:00 – 08:15 Kick-Off: Rep. Jim Bridenstine, (OK)

08:15 – 09:15 Session 1: Traffic Cops in Space

  • Moderator: Richard DalBello, Vice President, Virgin Galactic
  • Benjamin Roberts, Assistant Director, Civil and Commercial Space, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Travis Langster, Vice President, Analytical Graphics
  • David Cavossa, President, Space 2.0 Consulting (for Orbital ATK)
  • Brian Weeden, Senior Technical Advisor, Secure World Foundation

09:15 – 9:30 Morning Keynote: Rep. Bill Posey (FL)

09:30 – 9:45 Coffee Break and Networking – sponsored by Orbital ATK

09:45 – 10:45 Session 2: Wicked Cool Space Technology – A New Hope

  • Moderator: Carissa Christensen, Managing Partner, The Tauri Group
  • Dr. Alberto Conti, Astrophysicist and Innovation Manager, Northrop Grumman
  • Dr. Jay Falker, Program Executive, NIAC & CIF, NASA Headquarters
  • Philippe Moreels, Head of Strategy and Business Development, Astroscale PTE. LTD
  • Will Porteous, General Partner & Chief Operating Officer, RRE Ventures

10:45 – 11:45 Session 3: Almost Space – UAVs, Balloons and Virtual Reality

  • Moderator: Bradley Cheetham, CEO/President of Advanced Space, LLC
  • Jack Elston, CEO, Black Swift Technologies
  • Bradley Farquhar, Space Entrepreneur and Former Director of Business Development at SpaceVR
  • Dylan Taylor, Super Angel & Founding Partner, Space Angels

11:45 – 12:00 Highlight Presentation: Brett Alexander, Director, Business Development and Strategy, Blue Origin

12:30 – 13:30 Luncheon at the Reserve Officer Association Building, Top of the Hill – sponsored by Ball Aerospace

  • Lunch Keynote: Lt. General Jay Raymond, United States Air Force
  • Introduction: Debra Facktor Lepore, Ball Aerospace

July 16, 2015

Reserve Officer Association building, at the Top of The Hill, 1 Constitution Ave NE

07:30 – 08:00 Registration and Coffee – Sponsored by Raytheon

08:00 – 08:30 Keynote, Rep. Mo Brooks, (AL)

08:30 – 08:45 Keynote: Rep. Donna Edwards, (MD)

08:45 – 09:45 Panel 1: Big Smart Data
Having a lot of data is good, having the right data is better. The challenge of synthesizing mountains of data into actionable information presents an incredible opportunity. This panel will include companies that focus on collecting data from platforms in the air, space, and cyberspace as well as companies that are working to translate this data into useful information. A specific emphasis will be placed on the evolution from big data to smart data.

  • Moderator: Brad Cheetham, Chief Operating Officer at Black Swift Technologies
  • Andy Hock, Acting Head of Products and Applications, GOOGLE + Skybox Imaging
  • Dr. Peter Wegner, CTO, Black Sky
  • Michael Brett, CEO, QxBranch
  • Cathy Rodenbeck Reese, Big Data and Analytics, IBM

09:45 – 10:00 Keynote, Senator Cory Gardner (CO)

10:00 – 10:15 Coffee Break – Sponsored by ULA and Lockheed Martin

10:15 – 10:25 Keynote: Rep. Steve Knight, (CA)

10:25 – 11:15 Panel 2: Wicked Cool Space Technology – Sponsored by Northrop Grumman
Which cutting edge technologies and brave new applications are poised to transform the space and satellite industry? Industry experts will discuss recent leaps forward in exciting areas of the space and satellite industry. Key decision makers from industry and government entities will highlight far-reaching future concepts being pursued that will redefine the space industry of the future ranging from flat panel phased array antennas to rocket planes to Airships on Venus.

  • Moderator: Carissa Christensen, Managing Partner, The Tauri Group
  • Chuck Beames, President, Vulcan Aerospace
  • Greg Lee, VAMP Program Manager, Northrop Grumman
  • Antoine de Chassy, VP, Business Development, Spire Global, Inc.
  • Nathan Kundtz, PhD, President and CEO, Kymeta

11:15 – 11:25 Keynote Speaker: Pam Melroy, Deputy Director, Tactical Technology Office, DARPA

11:25 – 11:30 Coffee Break – Sponsored by OrbitalATK

11:30 – 12:30 Panel 3: Transformers, Leading Industry Titans Evolve
The competitive landscape for the space and satellite industry is undergoing dramatic shifts as technology billionaires and scrappy start-ups enter the field. With these new ideas and financial resources comes opportunities as well as risks for established space and satellite companies. This panel will address how aerospace industry titans are evolving in the context of new players, new technologies, new opportunities, and existing high expectations.

  • Moderator: Warren Ferster, Editor of SpaceNews
  • Marc C. Johansen, Vice President, Satellites & Intelligence Programs, National Security and Space Government Operations, Boeing
  • Charlie Precourt, Vice President and General Manager, Space Launch Systems, OrbitalATK
  • Neal Anderson, Vice President, Technology Development, DigtialGlobe
  • Robert L. Curbeam, Jr., Vice President and Deputy, Space Systems, Space and Airborne Systems, Raytheon

1:00 – 14:30 Lunch Keynote: Susan (Sue) Gordon, Deputy Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) – Sponsored by Ball Aerospace

Luncheon table sponsorships by: Ball Aerospace, AGI, the Tauri Group, Virgin Galactic, Lockheed Martin, SpaceNews, Avascent, Intelsat General, Boeing, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Rostrum, and Arianespace


July 17, 2014

07:30 – 08:00 Registration and Coffee

08:00 – 08:30 Opening Keynote: Rep. Steven Palazzo, Chairman of the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics , US House of Representatives

08:30 – 09:30 Panel 1: Space Start-Ups That Actually Have Funding
Investment in space is growing; venture capital funds, angels, private equity groups, self-made billionaires, and banks are funding the business of space. This panel of space CEOs who have raised tens of millions will answer your questions. How did they do it? Who are their investors? What were their best strategies? And where do they see new money coming from for future space entrepreneurs?

  • Moderator: Carissa Christensen, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, The Tauri Group
  • Eric Gundersen, CEO, Mapbox
  • Jeffrey Manber, Managing Director, NanoRacks
  • Robbie Schingler, President and COO, Planet Labs

09:30 – 09:45 Coffee Break

09:45 – 10:00 View From Pennsylvania Avenue

  • Richard DalBello
  • Chirag Parikh

10:00 – 10:15 Keynote Speaker: Rep. James R. “Jim” Langevin, House Armed Services Committee, US House of Representatives

10:15 – 11:15 Panel 2: Return of Wicked Cool Space Technology
Which cutting edge technologies and brave new applications are poised to transform the space and satellite industry? Industry experts will discuss recent leaps forward in exciting areas of the space and satellite industry from re-usable launch vehicles to in-space manufacturing. Key decision makers from industry and government entities will highlight far-reaching future concepts being pursued that will redefine the space industry of the future.

  • Moderator: Dr. Gordon Roesler, Program Manager, Robotic On-orbit Servicing, DARPA Tactical Technology Office, DARPA
  • Bretton Alexander, Director, Business Development and Strategy, Blue Origin
  • Jason Dunn, Co-Founder and Chief Technologist, Made in Space
  • Thierry Guillemin, Chief Technology Officer, Intelsat
  • David Lackner, Vice President Business Development, SSL
  • Dorothy Rasco, Deputy Associate Administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate, NASA

11:15 – 11:30 Keynote Speaker: Rep. Jim Bridenstine, Congressman, Oklahoma 1st District

11:30 – 12:30 Panel 3: Space and the Pacific Rim
This panel will explore specific opportunities and issues related to space in the Pacific theater. Panelists will touch on why space is critical to commercial, civil and military success as well as key risks to space assets. They will encourage interaction from the audience.

  • Moderator: Vice Admiral Lyle G. Bien, USN (Retired)
  • Colonel Alan Rebholz “Rebel”, Chief, Space Operations Division AF/A3SO, 1E935, US Air Force
  • Don Brown, Senior VP Strategic Planning, Newsat
  • Jessica Powers, Director for Space Policy Engagement, Under Secretary of Defense (Policy)
  • Victoria Samson, Washington Office Director, Secure World Foundation

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch Keynote: Sen. Martin Heinrich(NM)
Location: Reserve Officers Association of the United States 1 Constitution Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002


July 17, 2013

7:30 – 8:00 AM Registration and Coffee
Dirksen Senate Office Building – Room G50

8:00 – 8:15 AM Featured Speaker: U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher (CA), Vice Chairman, House Science Committee

  • Introduction by Brendan Curry from Space Foundation

8:15 – 8:25 AM Question & Answer with Dana Rohrabacher

8:30 – 9:45 AM Panel 1: Well Positioned – Space-Based Navigation and New Applications
Navigation from space has become integral to our everyday lives to the point where we can’t imagine our smart phones without GPS. The panel will discuss the latest ideas for GPS augmentation, the internationalization of space-based navigation systems and cutting edge applications harnessing the power of navsats. The advent of enhanced services, the potential for jamming or interference, and mind boggling new applications creating virtual worlds will be covered on this intriguing panel.

  • Moderator: Frank Backes, Chief Executive Officer, Braxton Technologies
  • Colonel Christopher Warack, Air Force Space Command
  • Dr. Dana K. Jackson, Vice President, Navigation Systems, Space SystemsCompany, Lockheed Martin
  • Kenneth Hodgkins, Director, Office of Space & Advanced Technology, U.S. Department of State
  • Asif Khan, Founder & President, Location Based Marking Association

9:45 – 10:00 AM Coffee Break – Sponsored by ASTRIUM

10:15 – 10:30 AM Featured Speaker: Douglas Loverro, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, U.S. Department of Defense

  • Introduction by Patrick Rayermann, Astrium Services

10:30 – 10:45 AM Featured Speaker: U.S. Senator Mark E. Udall (CO), Chairman, Strategic Forces Subcommittee

  • Introduction by Eric Stallmer, Analytical Graphics

10:45 – 11:45 PM Panel: Wicked Cool Space Technology – The Future Is Here Now
Which cutting edge technologies and brave new applications are poised to transform the space and satellite industry? Industry experts will discuss recent leaps forward in long-anticipated satellite business applications: all electric propulsion satellites and on-orbit servicing and emerging game changers like green propellant. Government researchers will highlight far-reaching future concepts being pursued by NASA and DARPA, including innovative spaceflight and nanotechnology.

  • Moderator: Carissa Christensen, Managing Partner, The Tauri Group
  • James B. Armor, Major General, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), Vice President, ATK Spacecraft Systems & Engineering Services
  • Michael L. Raftery, Director, International Space Station Utilization & Exploration, The Boeing Company
  • Dr. Makenzie Lystrup, Business Development Manager for Space Sciences & Technologies, Ball Aerospace
  • Dr. John (“Jay”) Falker, Program Executive, NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program
  • Dave Barnhart, Program Manager, Tactical Technology Office, DARPA (Space Projects)

11:15 AM – 11:25 PM Featured Speaker: U.S. Representative Trent Franks (AZ)

  • Introduction by Patrick Shannon, Orbital Sciences

11:45 AM – 11:50 PM
Walk to the Reserve Officers Association – 1 Constitution Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C. (Across the Street from the Dirksen Building)

11:50 – 12:35 PM Panel 3: Destined For Exploration – Where To Boldly Go?
The space community wants to visit asteroids, the Moon and Mars. New ventures are seeking billions to fly around Mars or to mine Near Earth Objects. Which destination holds the most promise for NASA, the science community and commercial exploitation? Where can we send explorers and safely return them to home here on Earth?

  • Moderator: Warren Ferster, Editor, Space News
  • Lori Garver, Deputy Administrator, NASA
  • Rep. Robert S. Walker (Ret.), Executive Chairman, Wexler & Walker
  • 12:35 – 1:30 PM Future Space Leaders Grant Program Luncheon

Keynote Address: Senator Bill Nelson, Florida

  • Introduction by Erin Hatch Neal, ATK

July 19, 2012

7:30 – 8:00 AM Registration and Coffee

8:00 – 8:30 AM Morning Keynote Address: U.S. Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee

8:30 – 9:30 AM Panel 1: Space Situational Awareness and the Orbital Environment
Space has become and increasingly congested and contested place in which to operate. The panel will discuss the challenges and obstacles facing government agencies and commercial satellite companies operating in a crowded orbital environment. The discussion will explore ways to improve space situational awareness – from radars to sensors to software – and look at how the public and private sectors can work together to reduce the potential for collisions, improve decision making and promote operational efficiencies in shared space.

  • Moderator: Warren Ferster, Editor, Space News
  • Major General Jay G. Santee, Principal Director, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Space Policy); Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Global Strategic Affairs); Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Washington
  • Todd Stiefler, Legislative Director, Senator Richard C. Shelby
  • Robert F. Minehart, Jr. Professional Staff, U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Tobias Nassif, Vice President, Satellite Operations & Engineering, Intelsat & Director, Space Data Association
  • Kathleen Kelly, Director of Satellite Operations, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

9:30 – 10:00 AM Cyber Keynote Address: U.S. Representative Ken Calvert, Member House Appropriations Committee

10:00 – 11:15 PM Panel 2: CyberSpace and CyberSecurity
Today’s United States runs on cyber capabilities. National security relies on cybersecurity. Agencies across the government struggle to meet critical cyber challenges. In an era of shrinking federal budgets, cybersecurity and cyberspace expenditures are growing. Our panelists will chart the future of federal cyberspace and cybersecurity — government needs, industry capabilities, policy challenges, and budget directions. The panel blends views from the White House, the intelligence community, the Department of Defense, and industry to deliver the full cyber picture.

  • Moderator: Carissa Christensen, Principal, The Tauri Group
  • Brigadier General Ian R. Dickinson (ret.) former Director, Communications and Information, Air Force Space Command
  • Paul Graziani, CEO, Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI)
  • Jim Kohlenberger, President, JK Strategies, former White House advisor to two Presidents, former chief of staff of Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)

11:15 – 11:30 AM Coffee Break – Sponsored by Arianespace

11:30 – 12:45 PM Panel 3: Leveraging Hosted Payloads and Next Generation Satellite Systems
Tight budgets are clashing with ever increasing government requirements for data and bandwidth. In response to these trends commercial satellite operators are offering the capability of hosted payloads and new broadband solutions to meet government demands with low cost systems and rapid deployment schedules. Can hosted payloads, mobile broadband satellites and next generation systems help fill the gaps and provide urgent capabilities to the warfighter?

  • Moderator: Brian Berger, Deputy Editor, Space News
  • Dr. Robie I. Samanta Roy, Professional Staff Member, Senate Armed Services Committee
  • Don Brown, Vice President of Hosted Payloads, Intelsat General Corporation
  • Donald L. Thoma, President, Aireon by Iridium
  • Dave Anhalt, Vice President, U.S. Government Solutions, Space Systems/Loral

12:45 – 1:00 PM Walk to the Reserve Officers Association for Lunch

1:00 – 2:30 PM Future Space Leaders Scholarship Luncheon
Keynote Address: Senator David Vitter, Member, Senate Armed Services Committee


Past Speakers

  • U.S. Representative Jim Bridenstine
  • U.S. Representative Ken Calvert
  • U.S. Representative Trent Franks (AZ)
  • Lori Garver, Former Deputy Administrator, NASA
  • U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (NM)
  • U.S. Representative James R. “Jim” Langevin
  • Douglas Loverro, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon
  • U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (FL)
  • U.S. Representative Steven Palazzo
  • U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher
  • U.S. Senator Mark E. Udall (CO)
  • U.S. Senator David Vitter

Grant Program

The Future Space Leaders Foundation (FSLF) is pleased to announce the 2024 Future Space Leaders Grant Program. Intended for U.S. graduate students and young professionals who are pursuing space- and satellite-related careers, the program will provide grants for participation in the 75th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) to be held in Milan, Italy, October 14-18. 2024. In addition to attending the IAC, Grant Recipients will also be involved in supplementary career development activities in Paris. These IAC-associated events include the Cross-Cultural Presentation Workshop, the United Nations/International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Workshop and the Young Professionals Workshop. These additional activities will necessitate Grantees’ presence in Milan, Italy, beginning on October 9.

Grant application submission has closed.

2023 Grant Winners

Elizabeth BarriosDr. Elizabeth Barrios is an avionics materials failure analyst at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Working in the Avionics Division of the Space Systems Department, Elizabeth’s work focuses on the failure analysis of avionics components for NASA & its commercial partners, the DoD, and the FAA. She is also a co-founder of the A2MPERES Lab at MSFC where multiple researchers are focusing on the development of Advanced Avionics and Materials for Energy Research and Environmental Sensing. The work ongoing in this lab encompasses efforts for the in-space manufacturing efforts for printed electronics and sensors. Previously, she was a Materials Research Engineer with the National Institute of Aerospace focusing on the development of in-situ monitoring tools for the surface preparation of carbon fiber polymer composites for adhesive bonding and the atomistic modeling efforts for the development of all solid-state lithium ion batteries.

Srinivasa (Aditya) BhattaruSrinivasa (Aditya) Bhattaru is a systems engineer working at Blue Origin, working on integration and development of human spaceflight vehicles. He currently works as an integrator on the Blue Moon lander project selected by NASA’s Artemis program, as well as supporting flight operations of the New Shepard vehicle as a crew systems chair; he has also worked on other human spaceflight programs at Blue, including the Orbital Reef program. Aditya brings valuable research experience in systems engineering, astrobiology, and planetary science, with a keen interest in working across interdisciplinary and international boundaries. He was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and a recent graduate of the International Space University’s Space Studies Program. Aditya holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech and an M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT.

Julia DiJulia Di is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University, studying sensing and perception for robotic manipulation. She hopes that one day her robots will enable scientific exploration and improve the lives of many for the better. She has received a NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation Fellowship, Women in Aerospace Scholarship, and an Aviation Week Twenty20s Award. She is also a Class of 2018 Brooke Owens Fellow, and a young professional mentor for the Zed Factor Fellowship and Patti Grace Smith Fellowship. She graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Mechatronics at Stanford University.

Shravan HariharanShravan Hariharan is an incoming Advanced Concepts Systems Engineer at Blue Origin, and a recent graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a S.M. in Aeronautics and Astronautics. At MIT, his research focused on In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), specifically with the production of oxygen on Mars to support future human space exploration. He is a member of the Mars 2020 Science Team working on the MOXIE project, which is the first ever demonstration of ISRU on another planetary body. At MIT, he worked on utilizing ground-based laboratory testbeds to further characterize the MOXIE system and inform design of a next-generation Martian oxygen production plant. At Blue Origin, he will be working on formulating and evaluating concepts for permanently crewed lunar and on-orbit platforms.

Emma LoudenEmma Louden is an astrophysicist, strategist, and speaker. She is a Ph.D. candidate in astrophysics at Yale University. She is passionate about future-focused strategy for astrophysics, engaging the public with space exploration, & philanthropic work focused on applying evidence-based solutions to solve the world’s most pressing problems. When not working on her Ph.D., she focuses on my STEM workforce project, Space to Sparkle, her podcast, & supporting the next generation of astronomers through the Summer Science Program.

Owen MarrOwen Marr is a Systems Engineer at Blue Origin working on the New Shepard program. He is dedicated to improving the accessibility of space through human exploration and commercial development. Owen works on several aspects of New Shepard including payload integration, astronaut devices, and mission development. He also works with the University Relations team at Blue to promote university collaborations and student recruitment. Outside of Blue, Owen is the Chair of SEDS USA's Young Professional Advisory Board where he advises and assists the student leaders of SEDS. Owen holds a BSE in Aerospace Engineering (2020) and a MEng in Space Engineering (2021) from the University of Michigan. As a student he was heavily involved with SEDS as the SEDScast host and as President of the Michigan chapter. Owen served as a graduate instructor for the Aerospace MBSE course series during his grad studies. Outside of space, Owen enjoys boating, snowboarding, and playing soccer.

Tobias NiederwieserTobias Niederwieser is an Assistant Research Professor at BioServe Space Technologies within the University of Colorado Boulder where he serves as Principal Investigator on several grants for space life science experiments. Of particular focus is the in-space manufacturing of human pluripotent stem cells for regenerative therapy applications on Earth. Previously, he led the development of several novel facilities operating continuously onboard the ISS including science incubators, centrifuges, life support systems, as well as crew galley refrigerators and is currently developing similar facilities for commercial and lunar space stations. Additionally, Tobias was involved in a radiation biology experiment onboard Artemis-I conducting the furthest active biology experiment with sample return ever performed. He is honored to have been named a NASA Group Achievement Award recipient, an AIAA Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Award fellow, and an Aviation Week Twenty20s awardee. Originally born in Austria, Tobias received his bachelor’s degree from the Technical University of Munich in Germany before moving to the United States for his master’s and doctorate degrees in bioastronautics and taking part in the International Space University’s Space Studies Program in Israel. In his free time, Tobias performs outreach for human spaceflight and enjoys using his Private Pilot Certificate.


Manwei ChanManwei Chan is an NSF Fellow and PhD Candidate in Aerospace Engineering at MIT, studying responsive, remote sensing satellite constellations. He wants to mature the commercial space ecosystem, eventually allowing more people and projects to utilize space. For his Master's degree, he wrote a guidance algorithm that would allow satellite servicing vehicles to dock with a tumbling object. He is also a 2019 Matthew Isakowitz Fellow, and while at NanoRacks, developed strategies for commercial space station applications. He is also the current international coordinator at Voyager Space, where he is working on developing international governmental and academic partners for Starlab and the rest of the Voyager ecosystem. Outside of academics he is involved with STEM outreach, organizing the MIT Space Seminar, MIT SpaceTech, and SGAC Fusion Forum, events geared toward young professionals and designed to inspire future generations of space enthusiasts. In his free time, he likes to ski, hike, and play football (soccer).

Vera DemchenkoVera Demchenko currently works as a Systems Test and Verification Engineer on the Lockheed Martin's Orion Program. In 2019, she completed her Astrophysics BA at University of Colorado Boulder. Vera is a Class of 2019 Brooke Owens Fellow, a young professional mentor for the Zed Factor Fellowship and Patti Grace Smith Fellowship, and an active member of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC). She is passionate about commercial space programs and space sustainability. Previously, Vera has interned at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as the Outreach Coordinator and has worked as a Public Presenter at the Fiske Planetarium. She encourages young people from all backgrounds to pursue their professional development goals and takes great pleasure in being a mentor for the next generation.

Skylar EiskowitzSkylar Eiskowitz is an Aeronautics and Astronautics PhD student in the Engineering System Lab (ESL) at MIT. She was a 2018 Brooke Owens fellow and is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Fellowship, which helps support her research on autonomous satellite communication networks. Prior to her graduate studies, Skylar received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and has interned at Avascent, the Aerospace Corporation, and Raytheon BBN. Skylar is also involved in a research project where she builds machine learning models for financial options, and loves to share her passions for space systems, optimization, and finance through mentorship opportunities. In her free time, she enjoys pursuing hobbies of surfing, basketball, and volleyball.

Sorina Lupu is a 3rd year PhD student at Caltech, studying aerospace engineering. She has two master degrees, one from Caltech in space engineering and another one from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne in Robotics and Autonomous Systems. Sorina is also an affiliate of the Keck Institute of Space Studies (KISS), a 'think and do tank' that develops revolutionary new science approaches, technology, and mission concepts. Sorina’s current research focuses on autonomy, control, and machine learning applied to robotics and spacecraft. Her research was published in prestigious journals such as Science Robotics. Before coming to Caltech, she led numerous teams during her master’s and bachelor's studies. For example, she led the first Swiss team to participate in the Spaceport America Cup, the biggest rocket competition for students, and the first Romanian team to participate in the REXUS/BEXUS rocket project. In addition, she won numerous awards like the Amelia Earhart Fellowship, given by Zonta International and the Anita Borg Women Techmakers given by Google.

Chris NieChris Nie is the Senior Business Development Manager for Advanced Programs at Sierra Space, a commercial space company building platforms in space to benefit life on Earth. Chris identifies new business opportunities across government and commercial markets in this role. Prior to Sierra Space, Chris worked at Lockheed Martin in business development for deep space exploration missions and as an engineer on multiple programs including Orion, LunIR, and GPS III. He worked at BioServe Space Technologies during his Master’s Degree and spent time as a co-op at NASA Johnson Space Center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Air Force Research Laboratory. He is active in the Space Generation Advisory Council where he previously managed the Space Generation Congress, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics serving leadership positions in multiple committees, the International Astronautical Federation, and is an alumnus of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. He is honored to have been named a Future Space Leaders Foundation Fellow, a Space Generation Leadership Award recipient, and an Aviation Week Twenty20s awardee as a rising leader in Aerospace and Defense. Chris graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering Sciences focused in Bioastronautics.

Cadence PayneCadence Payne (she/her) is a PhD candidate in the department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT. She's a member of the Space Telecommunications, Astronomy and Radiation lab where she specializes in CubeSat mission and payload design for Earth observing missions. Since coming to MIT, she’s been involved with 8 CubeSat missions, some of which she served as lead Systems Engineer and/or Project Manager. Her dissertation work involves the design of CubeSat-based hyperspectral imaging payloads that monitor fluctuations in ocean behavior to inform climate change mitigation strategies and climate models. Outside of academic endeavors, she's also heavily involved with Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI), mentoring, and outreach initiatives at both departmental and institutional levels, as well as with Career Girls and #BlackInAstro. She extends these efforts as a member of the GEM, Matthew Isakowitz, and Patti Grace Smith Fellowship programs. ​Prior to coming to MIT, Cadence earned a B.S. in Space Science from Morehead State University in Kentucky, her home state. She also holds a S.M. in Aerospace Engineering from MIT’s AeroAstro department.

Esther PutnamEsther Putman is a Bioastronautics Ph.D. student studying virtual reality astronaut training at the University of Colorado Boulder. She received a B.S in Neuroscience and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Kentucky in 2019. In 2021, she received a M.S. in Aerospace Engineering and an M.E. in Engineering Management from the University of Colorado Boulder. She has followed her passion for the future of humans in space as a Parabolic Flight Coach for Zero Gravity Corporation, a Research Payload Systems Engineer with Space Tango, and a Space Life Sciences Training Program Researcher at NASA Ames. She received a 2020 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and 2018 Women in Aerospace and Astronaut Scholarships. She was also selected as a 2018 Brooke Owens Fellow, where she worked with Earth Observation teams at Vulcan Inc. to address global issues in climate change and illegal elephant poaching. She advocates for research funding for the International Space Station by speaking to policy makers about how access to space improves life on Earth. Esther has a strong passion for STEM education and showing students how they can become involved in space exploration, leading hands-on STEM outreach activities with middle and high school students across the nation.

Jack ReidJack Reid (he/him) is a PhD student working in the Space Enabled Research Group at the MIT Media Lab. His research focuses on the use of Earth Observation (EO) technologies for sustainable development. His IAC paper details the framework that he and his collaborators use to ensure that such EO applications are participative and targeted towards the needs of all stakeholders, not just the wealthy and powerful. In addition to his research work, he is very involved in advancing policies that benefit graduate students, including facilitating the recent launch of the Graduate Research and Development (GRAD) Caucus in the US House of Representatives. Prior to his PhD program, he completed a dual masters in Aeronautics & Astronautics and Technology Policy from MIT. His undergraduate was at Texas A&M University, where he received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.A. in Philosophy.

Aaron ZuchermanAaron Zucherman is a Matthew Isakowitz Commercial Space Fellow and Systems Engineering Ph.D. Candidate at Cornell University. His experiences in the space industry range include roles as an engineer, researcher, business developer, project manager and policy analyst at 2 Federal Research labs (The Aerospace Corporation and Los Alamos National Labs) and 5 private businesses (AeroVironment, Ecliptic Enterprises, Altius Space Machines, Twiggs Space Lab and Kentucky Dataseam initiative). Aaron is an active member in several space research groups and projects including NASA’s Small Satellite Reliability Initiative, the Space Generation Advisory Council, INCOSE’s Space Systems Working Group and the Small Payload Ride Share Association’s Multi-Manifest Design Specification project. Through these organizations, he has supported research on a variety of topics such as responsive space enterprises, spacecraft regulatory compliance, leveraging commercial terrestrial capabilities in space, enabling modular and interoperable space platform solutions, and the insertion of new and game-changing technologies and innovations into heritage organizations. As a 2021 graduate of NASA’s Planetary Science Summer School, and a mission manager for two academic Cubesat missions (NMTsat and Cislunar Explorers), Aaron’s academic experience spans from the study and design of Earth-orbiting and Interplanetary CubeSats missions and proposals, to the application of systems engineering methodologies, agile technology development processes and risk and cost analysis techniques to space technology development efforts. As of May 2022, Aaron has authored 19 published papers and has given over a dozen technical presentations at various conferences including the CubeSat Developers Workshop, AIAA Small Satellite Conference, IEEE Aerospace Conference, and International Space Development Conference. He is also an active mentor in several educational and professional development programs through the SGAC, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Scouts BSA. Aaron attended Morehead State University’s Space Systems Engineering MS program and graduated with honors from New Mexico Tech with an BS in Mechanical Engineering.



The Future Space Leaders Foundation and our esteemed fellows depend on contributions from corporations and donations to provide these incredible opportunities to those who will lead us to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

If you are interested in supporting FSFL, please consider donating on a recurring monthly or annual basis. A donation of just $50 a month will provide promising young professionals the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the International Astronautical Conference. At IAC, they will have the opportunity to network with, deliver their exceptional research to, and learn from the international space community.

As a 501c3 organization your gift not only help enable future space industry leaders but the gifts are also tax deductible.