Dr. Alan Stern is a prolific public speaker who has given over 200 presentations to audiences across the US and internationally, ranging from business conventions to corporate conclaves and retreats, from universities to science festivals and cruise ships.

Book Alan Stern for Speaking About Chasing New Horizons through Macmillian Speakers or Book Alan Stern for Corporate, Convention, or International Speaking through Keppler Speakers

Example Speaking Topics

Rocket Ride: A Career in Space Exploration and Its Lessons for Leadership, Perseverance, and Achievement

From the leading 2500 men and women to create and execute a decade long NASA mission to explore Pluto and the farthest worlds ever explored, to flying in space himself as a commercial astronaut, to leading NASA’s entire $6+ billion space science enterprise, to a South Pole expedition and a submersible dive 13,000 feet below the North Atlantic to the RMS Titanic, Dr. Alan Stern has had an incredibly inspiring career. In this stirring and oftentimes funny presentation, he recounts these and other exploration efforts he’s been involved in, stressing a common thread of perseverance needed to overcome obstacles, how one inspires large teams to high achievement, and the lessons for project and corporate leadership that he has learned from a career he dubs a “Rocket Ride.”

When Incredible Opportunity Knocks: My Submersible Dive 12,500 Feet Below the Atlantic to Explore the Titanic

Sometimes in life, an opportunity just comes out of nowhere. That happened to this space explorer in early 2022 when I was presented with an opportunity to take part in a risky but rewarding scientific and archeological exploration of the Titanic, the most famous ship wreck on Earth. But the opportunity didn’t come for free, it mean a great deal of training on short notice and a large disruption to an overly full calendar. But recognizing that many less people have explored the Titanic than have explored space, the costs were worth the benefits, and the very real life and death risks were worth the reward. This presentation will focus on the choices we must often make when opportunity knocks, and the role I played in the exploration of RMS Titanic during summer 2022, and ocean exploration’s parallels to spaceflight.

My Suborbital Life as NASA’s First Commercial Space Researcher to Fly on Virgin Galactic

Dr. Alan Stern is NASA’s first researcher selected to fly in space on commercial suborbital missions. In 2023 he went to space to perform experiments on a space mission aboard Virgin Galactic and is selected to fly a second such mission for NASA in 2024. He’ll describe the coming era of widespread suborbital tourism and research, the space missions he’ll be flying, and how you can afford to fly in space yourself!

Twenty-Six Years To Pluto and New Horizons: How Persistence Pays In Life

When the New Horizons mission reached Pluto in 2015 at the far frontier of our solar system, it had been over 26 years since mission leader Dr. Alan Stern first approached NASA to fly a mission to planet Pluto. In this engaging and oftentimes funny presentation, Dr. Stern describes the long and difficult road from idea to launch, fraught with setbacks, and the equally long and sometimes heart-stopping journey across the solar system. This epic tale of persistence and personal perseverance by Dr. Stern and his team will motivate public audiences, business groups, professional societies, corporate teams, and schools to higher achievement in their own lives.

To the Everest of Planetary Exploration: How The United States Has Trailblazed the Solar System

From Neil Armstrong’s first step on the Moon, to Mars rovers, Mercury orbiters, to when NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto arrived in 2015, the United States has led a historic era of planetary exploration unparalleled in history. Dr. Alan Stern describes this sweeping age, its historic and geopolitical import, and the most important scientific discoveries it delivered. He emphasizes the ways this has touched people around the globe, and how it shows America on our game in the 21st century. He then looks forward into the future, on what lies ahead for both the robotic and human exploration of the solar system.

Why Pluto Sure Is a Planet, And Don’t Let Anyone Tell You It’s Not!

NASA’s New Horizons probe was the first spacecraft to explore Pluto and its atmosphere, surface, and system of moons. In this presentation, New Horizons mission leader Dr. Alan Stern carefully and engagingly describes why those who kicked Pluto out of the list of planets were wrong, how planetary scientists are increasingly coming to see Pluto as the first and now best known of an important new class of planet, and how personal biases fooled astronomers into making a very clearly unscientific definition of planets that many now regret.

Lessons in Leadership from the Exploration of Pluto

New Horizons, which explored Pluto in 2015, was a billion dollar project involving over 2,500 people and setting records for lean costing and rapid development in space flight. Every business executive, aspiring executive, and business student can learn and profit from the practices Stern and his team used and refined in one the most epic scientific projects ever undertaken. Stern describes how persistence pays, how to choose an A-team for the long haul, how to solves problems, and how to communicate clearly, with examples from the development and flight of New Horizons.