Announcing the Space Stage agenda at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 | TechCrunch

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We’re out-of-this-world excited to announce that we’ve added a dedicated Space Stage to TechCrunch Disrupt 2023. It joins six other brand-new industry-focused stages — all under one big roof.

Plus, we’ve joined forces with the Aerospace Corporation to host the Space Domain Awareness Challenge Pitch-off for startups using AI to analyze satellite data streams. Learn more and apply here.

The Space Stage agenda at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023

Space tech, while one of the most complex and costly endeavors, provides enormous opportunity to advance humankind. But this new space age comes with a host of challenges and uncertainties, and we’ll have some of the most knowledgeable leaders join us to unpack both.

The Space Stage agenda covers a lot of parsecs — the role of American public- and private-sector partnerships; venture capital’s unease with the U.S. Defense Department; quantum and espionage; AI and warfare and more.

Check the agenda below and keep checking back for updates!

The Future of Sending Human Beings into Space

Commander Jared Isaacman (Entrepreneur, Pilot, Philanthropist and Commercial Astronaut)

With commercial organizations playing a more prominent role in sending humans into space, governments, regulators and even companies are not quite sure what this heralds for the new space age. This panel will help us understand the future of sending humans into space and the respective roles of governments and companies.

Commercial Space Power and the Next Space Age

John Plumb (U.S. Department of Defense) and Brian Weeden (Secure World Foundation)

In the United States, private industry plays perhaps the most important role in keeping America’s space aspirations aloft. This has created both opportunities and challenges as the U.S. government and the private sector try to chart a path forward together into the heavens. This panel unpacks the technologies the American public and private sectors are sending into space and the incentives that bring them together and drive them apart.

Why Is Venture Capital Still Uneasy with the World’s Largest Customer?

Dan Gwak (Point72) and speakers to be announced

The U.S. Department of Defense is the world’s biggest customer and is eager to work with innovative companies backed by venture capital. Unfortunately, most of the largest venture capital firms in the United States are gun-shy when it comes to backing companies looking to tackle federal markets. Why is this? Are they being foolish and leaving money on the table? Or do they understand something important?

Quantum and a New Age of Espionage

Debra Emmons (Aerospace Corp.), Herbert Lin (Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation), Laura Thomas, (Infleqtion, formerly CIA), and Andrew C. Wilson (NIST Quantum Physics)

From busting open sensitive encryption to creating new unbreakable codes, quantum technologies have the potential to transform the world of espionage and cryptography. A government official and physicist, a former CIA officer now in the industry, and a Stanford professor join forces to explain why and how some of these technologies are related to things in orbit.

AI and Warfare

Tara Murphy Dougherty (Govini), Benjamin Jensen (Marine Corps University), and Torsten Reil (Helsing)

The lightning-fast adoption of ChatGPT supercharged conversations about how AI promises to transform warfare. But will it? Is the technology ready or overhyped? Are military institutions ready? Are the right companies ready to work with the military? This panel — representing industry, the academy and the Department of Defense — will unpack these questions and more.

TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 runs September 19–21 in San Francisco. Buy your pass now before prices increase August 11. Seriously, what are you waiting for?

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