AMU Reaches for the Stars with Space Summit

AMU Reaches for the Stars with Space Summit

AMU Reaches for the Stars with Space Summit


By Wes O’Donnell
Managing Editor, In Space News, In Military and InCyberDefense.

Outer space may be cold (-454.81 Fahrenheit, to be exact), but it’s starting to heat up. As more nations compete for the high ground, and private corporations like SpaceX and Blue Origin invest in the limitless expanse of space, interest in our galaxy is at an all-time high.

In fact, the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act created America’s newest military branch, the U.S. Space Force, to ensure that the United States maintains its lead in high orbit space as well as protects the U.S. and allied interests.

Advances in technology and a new spirit of competition have rekindled America’s dedication to space science. So, there has never been a better time to meet and discuss the challenges in store for tomorrow’s space leaders.

An Important Summit at an Important Time

The inaugural Space Education and Strategic Applications (SESA) Conference, sponsored by American Military University, will be held virtually on Thursday and Friday October 15-16, 2020.

It’s an opportunity to bring together all representatives of the space community to educate, discuss and inspire.

Expert speakers and panelists will discuss new information in space education, industry, military and government. Roundtables will give attendees the opportunity to network with space organizations, associations and student groups so they may learn how to be active members of the space community.

According to Dr. Vernon Smith, Provost of American Public University System, “APUS is recognized as a leader in space education. As commercial and military space becomes more important to our economy, we want to work with thought leaders to fill the gaps to have a workforce that is ready for the Space Force and the accompanying growth in this exciting sector.”

Preliminary List of Speakers:

October 15

Welcome and Introductions

Vernon Smith, Provost, American Public University System

Plenary Opening Address: Education for Space

Dr. Julielynn Wong was microgravity researcher with NASA’s parabolic flight program, the analog astronaut for NASA’s Human Exploration Research Analog IX and the Crew 207-8 Mission Commander at the Mars Desert Research Station. Following medical school at Queen’s University, Dr. Wong received the Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship and Masters of Public Health degree studies at Harvard University. Board-certified in aerospace medicine, she has authored over 35 scientific and technical publications and has 14 patents for medical devices. She founded Medical Makers, a program to inspire, educate, and empower a global community of innovators, and is an avid pilot and drone racer. She is devoted to including space studies at all levels of the educational curriculum.

One of Dr. Wong’s particular research interests is the use of 3D printers during space journeys, including the creation of medical supplies. Her work on 3D printing as part of space exploration importantly advances NASA and private search into long voyage problems.

Mary Dittmar, CEO Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, National Academies SSB, National Space Council Users Advisory Group, DOT COMSTAC, NASA Advisory Council Education, Workforce Training: Commercial and Military

Carol Lane, President AAS and X-energy, LLC consulting in the fields of aerospace and energy. From 2003-2014, she served as Vice President of Washington Operations and Vice President of Civil and Commercial Space for Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Corp.


Session 1

An Interconnected Cosmic Biosphere

Chandra Wickramasinghe

Space Entrepreneurship

A Space Economy: Space Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century

Gary Deel, Faculty Director for School of Business, American Public University System


Session 2

Space Education

American Public University System’s Position and Commitment to Space Education


Moderator: Michael Ard, Program Director for Intelligence Studies and Associate Professor, American Public University System


Wally Boston, President Emeritus, President, American Public University System
Vernon Smith, Provost, American Public University System
J.D. Polk, American Public University System Board of Trustees Member, Senior Medical Officer, NASA

Ed Albin, Program Director of Space Studies, School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, American Public University System

Ahmed Naumaan, Dean, School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, American Public University System
Mark Riccardi, Dean, School of Security and Global Studies, American Public University System


Session 3

Space Policy & Law

Assessment of the Utility of a Government Strategic Investment Fund for Space

Sara A. Carioscia, John Hopkins University


Orbital Dynamics for National Security Lawyers

Jordan Foley, Georgetown University Law Center


Session 4

Panel on Space Policy

Organized by the Journal of Science Policy & Governance

Speakers: TBA


Session 5

Militarization of Space: Ongoing Issues

Organized by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space


Moderator: Dave Webb, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK, International Peace Bureau, and Scientists for Global Responsibility.


Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space

Karl Grossman, State University of New York/College of Old Westbury

Aruna Kammila, School of Law, GITAM University, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India

Tamara Lorincz, Balsillie School for International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University


October 16 

Session 1

Space Military

Why “DHS Should Consider Space as a Distinct Critical Infrastructure Node”

Dr. Mark T. Peters II, USAF, Retired


US Government Communications on Space Force

Bert Chapman, Purdue University


Session 2

“Due Regard” for the Bootprints?  Heritage and the Future of Property in Space

Michelle Hanlon, Center for Air and Space Law, University of Mississippi School of Law and For All Moonkind


Space Sciences

Mingling Among the Asteroids: Synthetic Tracking of Near Earth and Main Belt Minor Planets

Ed Albin, Program Director of Space Studies, American Public University System


Session 3

Space Education

APUS Observatory and Student Engagement

Kristen Miller, Associate Professor, American Public University System


Space Sustainability: The Role of the United Nations

Peter Martinez, Secure World Foundation


Session 4


Partnerships: Inviting Space Studies Students, Faculty, Universities, Industry, Military, and Government to the Table

Sara A. Carioscia, John Hopkins University


Max Lantz, Commandant, National Security Space Institute


Evening Session – TBA

Part of a Lecture Series organized by the Philosophical Society of Washington (PSW Science), co-sponsored by PSO and American Public University System. Information and videos of past and future lectures are at: 



Seeing the Universe: An Update on the James Webb Space Telescope

Carl Starr, Mission Operations Manager, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


Space Medicine

Space Medicine and Human Factors

Arnauld Nicogossian, Distinguished Research Professor


Space Engineering & Technology

Modeling and Simulation of a Long-Wave Infrared Polarimetric Sensor for Space Object Detection and Characterization

Kevin Pohl, Aerospace Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Mars Exploration Rovers: The Excellent Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity

Todd Barber, Senior Propulsion Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Space Military/Security

Will a global reliance on space technology inevitably lead the United States to conflict?

Ivàn Gulmesoff, MAS Aeronautical Science & Space Studies, American Public University System


Space Sciences

Role of Biology In Space Exploration

Arnauld Nicogossian


Space Entrepreneurship

Carol Lane


Space Education

Developing a Space Studies Program

JR Reilly, NASA Astronaut, Developer of the American Public University System’s Space Studies Program


Space Policy & Law

Space Policy in the Space Age   

Walter Conrad, Senior National Security Space Policy Analyst, Science Applications International Corporation

Dennis Burnett, Chairman of the Space, Cyber and Telecommunication Law Advisory Board University of Nebraska College of Law, and Treasurer of the International Institute of Space Law. Partner LMI Advisors

Arnauld Nicogossian, Distinguished Research Professor


Space Industry

Mission Critical: Cloud and Application-Based Solutions for Mission Management, Command and Control, Collection Orchestration and Tasking, Processing, Data Analysis and Analytics

Maria Demaree, VP of Space Ops at Lockheed Martin


Space Transportation

Models for Space Transportation, Logistics and Policies

Laurie Schintler, George Mason University, Charles Doarn, University of Cincinnati


Where to sign up

If you plan to attend, please RSVP

Don’t miss this important opportunity to network with professionals in space science and learn about the newest policy initiatives to capitalize on this final frontier.

Stay tuned to for more information to come to the inaugural Space Education and Strategic Applications (SESA) Conference.