SpaceTech 2024: AI, Machine Learning, and Autonomy in Space


Hacker Reactor (E38-795) 292 Main Street Cambridge, MA 02139 United States


April 3, 2024


9:00 a.m.


Senior Researcher Jessica West will participate in a panel discussion – AI for Peace and Security in Space – during SpaceTech 2024, being held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on April 3.

This event is sold out for in-person attendance. Register to receive the webcast link by selecting a "Virtual Only" ticket at checkout. (The event is free.)

The 2024 MIT AeroAstro SpaceTech conference is a technically-oriented, future-looking event designed to build awareness around the present and future of space technology. This year's theme is "AI, Machine Learning, and Autonomy in Space: From Ground Control to the Stars."

This year’s conference features keynote speakers from NASA JPL and MIT CSAIL, and panelists from Planet, Draper, and U.S. Space Force. The event includes talks from leading experts in the field, as well as panel discussions and networking opportunities.

A livestream link for the full event will be provided to all registrants – get your ticket today!


PART 1: 9:00am - 12:00pm

9:00am | Welcome
Steven Barrett, Department Head, MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; H.N. Slater Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics

9:05am | Lightning Talks
Moderator: Mark Munson, Program Manager, Small Satellite Collaborative, MIT

Improving Computational Efficiency for Powered Descent Guidance via Transformer-based
Tight Constraint Prediction
Julia Briden, PhD Student, Astrodynamics, Space Robotics, and Controls Lab (ARCLab)

Will the Algorithms Behind Changing Airline Ticket Prices Close the Business Case for Satellite Communication Networks?
Skylar Eiskowitz, PhD student, Engineering Systems Laboratory

Predicting Orbit Perturbations Using Machine Learning
Billy Kline, Masters student, Engineering Systems Laboratory; Space Operations Officer, U.S. Space Force

Optimizing the Design of Reusable Space Systems
Ryan de Freitas Bart, PhD student, Engineering Systems Laboratory

Multidisciplinary Design Optimization of Edge Computing in Space for Advanced Satellite Missions
Rashmi Ravishankar, Masters student, Engineering Systems Laboratory

9:55 | Coffee break

10:00 | Keynote Address with Q&A
Trusted Autonomy on Mars: A Case Study of the Mars 2020 Onboard Planner
Dr. Steve Chien, NASA JPL Technical Group Supervisor, AI Group

11:00 | Panel Discussion – From Pixels to Planets: The AI Imaging Frontier
Moderator: Adriana Mitchell, MIT Astrodynamics Space Robotics and Controls Lab (ARCLab)
Mikhail Klassen, Senior ML Engineer, Planet
Victor Rodriguez-Fernandez, Associate Professor in Computer Science, Technical University of Madrid
Roberto Furfaro, Professor of Systems and Industrial Engineering, Director, Space Situational Awareness, University of Arizona
Rebecca Russell, Perception and Embedded ML Group, Draper

PART 2: 12:00 - 2:00pm

12:00pm | Lunch

1:00 | Keynote Address with Q&A
Greg Wyler, Founder, CEO and Chief Architect at E-Space

PART 3: 2:00 - 3:30pm

Aerospace $10K Entrepreneurship Competition
Pitchfest for new aerospace startups sponsored by the MIT AeroAstro Certificate in Aerospace Innovation

Moderated by faculty co–leads Professor Olivier de Weck, Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics and Engineering Systems, MIT; Professor Zoltán Spakovszky, T. Wilson (1953) Professor in Aeronautics

PART 4: 3:30 - 6:30pm

3:40 | Panel Discussion – AI for Peace and Security in Space
Moderator: Thomas González Roberts / Dr. Richard Linares
Dr. Brian Weedon, Secure World Foundation
Kaitlyn Johnson, U.S. Space Force
Jessica West, Project Ploughshares

4:40 | Keynote Address with Q&A
Brian Williams, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT

5:40 | Lightning Talks Prize Announcements
Moderator: Mark Munson, Program Manager, Small Satellite Collaborative, MIT

5:45 | Entrepreneurship Pitchfest Prize Announcements
Moderator: Beata Shuster, staff lead, Certificate in Aerospace Innovation Program

5:50 | Reception