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Full speed ahead: Accelerating government and commercial collaboration in the new space age

The space domain is changing faster than ever. The boundaries that once separated national security, civil and commercial space are blurring at an increasing pace, creating new opportunities to partner to outpace emerging threats, address shared challenges and unlock a new era of human achievement in space. Making the most of this evolving landscape will rely on the ability of our nation’s space programs to acquire transformative space capabilities and technologies at the speed of mission need. This session features candid discussions between experienced space leaders about how government demands for mission success intersect with new capabilities being put forward by commercial companies.

Gain unique perspectives and a deeper understanding of:

  • Challenges to “evolving space at speed” including key trends and drivers of change that are impacting missions and shaping this moment in space.
  • Current capability gaps surrounding specific applications, mission integration challenges and a robust workforce.
  • How to best leverage commercial capabilities at the national level to support enterprise mission success.
  • Opportunities for new space companies to partner and do business with government space programs.


Steve Isakowitz | President and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation

He leads a team of more than 4,000 employees committed to solving the hardest problems in space. Prior to joining Aerospace, he was President of Virgin Galactic, where his responsibilities included the development of privately funded launch systems, advanced technologies, and other new space applications.

Gen. David D. “DT” Thompson | Vice Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force.

As Vice Chief he is responsible for assisting the Chief of Space Operations in organizing, training and equipping space forces in the United States and overseas, integrating space policy and guidance, and coordinating space-related activities for the U.S. Space Force and Department of the Air Force.

Alexander MacDonald | Chief Economist at NASA.

He was the founding program executive of NASA’s Emerging Space Office within the Office of the Chief Technologist. He is the author and editor of a number of NASA reports including Emerging Space: The Evolving Landscape of 21st Century American Spaceflight.

Mandy Vaughn | CEO of and founder of GXO, Inc.

GXO, Inc. works to accelerate the pace of change across the space industry by supporting new commercial space ventures in quickly navigating the start-up environment to deliver capabilities and missions that matter for commercial and government customers. Mandy is formerly President & CEO of VOX Space.

Emily Calandrelli | Moderator

Emily is an MIT-engineer turned Emmy-nominated science TV host. She’s the Host and Co-Executive Producer of Emily’s Wonder Lab on Netflix, she’s featured as a correspondent on Netflix’s Bill Nye Saves the World and an Executive Producer and host of FOX’s Xploration Outer Space. Emily is the author of the science chapter book series, the Ada Lace Adventures.