AMU Careers & Learning Editor's Pick Original Space

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

*Please note the schedule is in Eastern Standard Time
Welcome and Introductions
Vernon C. Smith, Provost, American Public University System
Plenary Opening Address: Education for Space
Dr. Julielynn Wong
Introduction: Vernon C. Smith, Provost, American Public University System
Dr. Julielynn Wong was a 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 Queens University, Dr. Wong received the Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship and Master’s 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.
Session 1
Space Education
American Public University System’s Position and Commitment to Space Education
Moderator: Dr. Michael Ard, Program Director for Intelligence Studies and Associate Professor, American Public University System
Dr. Wally Boston, President Emeritus, American Public University System
Dr. Vernon C. Smith, Provost, American Public University System
Dr. J.D. Polk, American Public University System Board of Trustees Member, Senior Medical Officer, NASA
Dr. Ed Albin, Program Director of Space Studies, School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, American Public University System
Dr. Ahmed Naumaan, Dean, School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, American Public University System
Dr. Mark Riccardi, Dean, School of Security and Global Studies, American Public University System
Special Session
The Space Force Mission and The Importance of Space Education
The Honorable Barbara Barrett, Secretary of the U.S. Air Force
Introduction: Louis J. Cordia, Senior Adviser for Government Relations and External Affairs American Public University System


Session 2
Introduction: Melissa Layne, AVP Research and Innovation, American Public University System
An Interconnected Cosmic Biosphere
Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, Honorary Professor and Director of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology, University of Buckingham
Space Entrepreneurship
A Space Economy: Space Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century
Dr. Gary Deel, Faculty Director for School of Business, American Public University System
Session 3
Space Policy & Law
Assessment of the Utility of a Government Strategic Investment Fund for Space
Sara A. Carioscia, Johns Hopkins University
U.S. Navy Lt. Jordan Foley, Georgetown University Law Center
National Space Policy: International Comparison of Policy and the ‘Gray’ Area
Larissa Beavers, American Military University

Session 4
Space Engineering & Technology
Modeling and Simulation of a Long-Wave Infrared Polarimetric Sensor for Space Object Detection and Characterization
Kevin PohlAerospace Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Session 5
Space Ethics
Organized by the Journal of Science Policy & Governance
Introduction: Adriana Bankston, Chief Outreach Officer, Journal of Science Policy & Governance (JSPG)
Moderator: Sara Crandall, Astronomy and astrophysics Ph.D. student, University of Santa Cruz & JSPG Associate Editor @SaraRCran
George Profitiliotis, PhD Candidate, National Technical University of Athens, Greece & Foresight Expert, UNESCO Chair on Futures Research in FORTH/PRAXI
Therese Jones, Senior Director of Policy, Satellite Industry Association
Chris Beauregard, Policy Advisor, National Space Council, Executive Office of the President
Session 6
Organized by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
Moderator: Dave Webb, Chair for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK, VP of the International Peace Bureau, and patron of 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, Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, India
Tamara Lorincz, Ph.D. candidate in Global Governance at the Balsillie School for International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University
Plenary Address: The 21st Century Battlespace: The Key Technologies Driving SpeedMaria Demaree, Vice President and General Manager, Missions Solutions, Lockheed Martin Space 
Introduction: Mark Riccardi, Dean, School of Security and Global Studies, American Public University System
Session 7
United States Space Port Authority, America’s Secure, Sustainable, and Efficient Gateway to Outer SpaceTim Chrisman, Founder, Executive Director of the Foundation For The Future
Michael Fitzgerald, Founder, Chief Architect, Galactic Harbour Associates
Michael Laine, Chief Strategic Officer of LiftPort Group
Allyssa Carson, Astronaut in Training with Possum Academy, Global Speaker, Future Mars Walker

October 16

Welcome and Introductions
Vernon C. Smith, Provost, American Public University System
Session 1
Space Military/Security
Why “DHS Should Consider Space as a Distinct Critical Infrastructure Node”
Dr. Mark T. Peters II, USAF, Retired
Dr. Bert Chapman, Professor of Library Science, Purdue University
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


Session 2
Partnerships: Inviting Space Studies Students, Faculty, Universities, Industry, Military, and Government to the Table

Sara A. Carioscia, Johns Hopkins University

Richard Howard, American Public University System

Session 3
Space Human Factors
Diets for Long-term Astronauts or Settlers
Dr. Gerald McLaughlin
Dr. Robert H. Lustig, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, and the Institute for Health Policy Studies at University of California, San Francisco, and Adjunct Professor of Research at Touro University-California
William Gardiner, Director of Analytech Laboratory, Chair for NSS Space Health and Medicine Committee
Dr. Susan Jewell, Mars-Moon Astronautics Academy & Research Science (MMAARS, Inc)

Session 4
Michelle Hanlon, Associate Director of the National Center for Air and Space Law, University of Mississippi School of Law, and President and Co-Founder, For All Moonkind
Dr. John D. Rummel, Senior Scientist, SETI Institute
Dr. Greg Autry, Assistant Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship, University of Southern California, and International Space University Center for Space Entrepreneurship, Florida Institute of Technology
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 5
Space Education
APUS Observatory and Student Engagement
Kristen Miller, Associate Professor of Space Studies, American Public University System
Space Education and Technology
Mars Exploration Rovers: The Excellent Adventures of Curiosity, NASA’s Mars Exploration Program
Todd Barber, Senior Propulsion Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Space Sustainability: The Role of the United Nations
Peter Martinez, Secure World Foundation
Fireside Chat: Space Debris, Technology, and Future Challenges
Natalie Panek
Introduction: Lindsey Larson, Director, Academic Affairs, American Public University System
Natalie Panek is a Senior Engineer in Mission Systems at MDA, a Maxar Company, where she has contributed to a number of high-profile space projects including MDA’s satellite servicing initiatives and ESA’s 2020 ExoMars rover program. Her love of exploration led her to obtain a pilot’s license and build and drive a solar-powered car across North America. She has participated in an internship at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center and a Space Studies Program based at NASA’s Ames Research Center.
Closing Plenary Address: Women in Space
Emily Calandrelli, Host and Co-Executive Producer of Emily’s Wonder Lab (TBD)
Introduction: Vernon C. Smith, Provost, American Public University System
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’s educational background is in engineering and policy. At West Virginia University she received bachelors in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. While at WVU she was awarded the Goldwater scholarship for research and Truman scholarship for policy work. She received her Masters from MIT in Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as Technology and Policy.

Closing Remarks and Announcements

Vernon C. Smith, Provost, American Public University System


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.

Wes O'Donnell

Wes O’Donnell is an Army and Air Force veteran and writer covering military and tech topics. As a sought-after professional speaker, Wes has presented at U.S. Air Force Academy, Fortune 500 companies, and TEDx, covering trending topics from data visualization to leadership and veterans’ advocacy. As a filmmaker, he directed the award-winning short film, “Memorial Day.”

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