In an effort to bring together leaders, innovators, and decision-makers from all areas of the space community, American Public University System (APUS) and the Policy Studies Organization (PSO) are hosting the second annual Space Education and Strategic Applications (SESA) Conference on September 23 and September 24. The virtual event – titled “SESA: Focusing the Telescope” – features numerous keynote sessions, presentations, workshops, and roundtables focusing on the latest in space exploration, education, and entrepreneurship.   

It is open to the public and individuals can register to attend here for free. The preliminary agenda can be seen here.

Notable speakers include NASA Astronaut Colonel Eileen Collins, the first female to pilot a U.S. spacecraft with the Discovery flight in 1995, and Robert Durbin, President of Pioneer Astronautics, who is focused on aerospace research and development. Additional speakers will be announced here before the event. Other speakers include:

  • Robert Bell, Executive Director, Space & Satellite Professionals International;
  • Angie Bukley, Principal Engineer at The Aerospace Corporation, and past Dean and VP for Academics and Research at International Space University;
  • Kelvin Coleman, Deputy Associate Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, Commercial Space Transportation;
  • Stevenson Demorcy, CEO and Founder, STEAMedDrones;
  • Therese Jones, Senior Director of Policy, Satellite Industry Association;
  • Randa Milliron, CEO and Co-Founder, Interorbital Systems.

The conference will cover a range of topics from commercial and military – including space law and education, diversity in STEM, space security, and bridging the gender gap in aerospace. Presentations will generate in-depth conversations on issues related to both military and civilian space at the intersection of science, technology, and policy. These discussions come at a time when space education and operations are increasingly important, due in part to the recent Pentagon report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) and continued growth of the U.S. Space Force, both of which have spawned increased interest in the field.

“As commercial, tourism, and military space sectors expand, we will continue advancing the dialogue in space education with our second annual space conference,” said Dr. Vernon C. Smith, Provost of APUS. “Conversations are sure to enrich space studies, and identify policies and practices to meet new educational needs for both APUS students, scholars, and space professionals alike.”

APUS, through schools American Military University and American Public University, offers leading undergraduate, graduate degree, and both undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in Space Studies to align with the growing demand for space professionals across the military, as well as public and private sectors. For instance, APUS offers hands-on experience through a University Observatory located on APUS’s Charles Town, West Virginia campus. The University Observatory boasts one of the largest telescopes in the region – a 650-pound reflective, fully remote-controlled telescope, equipped with a highly sophisticated digital camera to allow for innovative research and exploration within the program.

Further, through the APUS Center for Space Studies (CSS), faculty work with students to support the development of a workforce for the growing needs in the space sector – while also coordinating space-related educational research and scholarly publishing activities across the University. APUS also releases a quarterly Space Education and Strategic Applications Journal, in conjunction with PSO, to curate insights. Conference presenters can submit manuscripts of their presentations for potential publication in the journal, either prior to or following the conference.

Policy Studies Organization (the event co-host) is a non-profit that sponsors conferences, publishes academic journals, and produces programs that disseminate scholarships and information to serve those making and evaluating policy.

Supporting Resources

About American Public University System

American Public University System, recipient of the Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) Gomory Award for Quality Online Education and five-time recipient of OLC’s Effective Practice Award, offers more than 200 online degree and certificate programs through American Military University, the #1 provider of education to the U.S. military*, and American Public University. Over 100,000 alumni worldwide have benefited from APUS’s relevant, flexible curriculum and value. For more information, visit

*Based on FY 2019 Department of Defense tuition assistance and Veterans Administration student enrollment data, as reported by Military Times, 2020.



Frank Tutalo
Director of Public Relations, APUS | 571-358-3042