Space University


Space University is a five day engineering mission for a group of 20 – 30 students, ages 12-14 and 15-18. Students analyze rock samples with a Reflectance Spectrometer, loft a rock sample into Martian orbit, and return it back to Earth in a rocket of their own design; all while working within a NASA budget. The mission involves teamwork, problem solving, fiscal responsibility, communication, and adaptation to unexpected problems.


Our mission is to engage students in critical thinking, creativity, fiscal responsibility and the drive to be successful.


Space University is a week long program offered year round, Monday through Friday. Each day runs from  8:30am – 5:00pm (times subject to change).  We schedule each individual Space University on a first come first serve basis, so register now. Contact Education at (281) 244-2164 or Email: to register.

A $525 deposit is required to secure your requested date.


Register online 12-14 years old
Register online 15-18 years old


Students need to be between the ages of 12-18. Groups need to have at least 20 students to allow for a good team ratio.

If you are an individual, please choose from these dates: June 23-27


Design, Build and Launch a Rocket

Each team will design and engineer a two-stage rocket by deciding which rocket parts are needed and what is affordable given the project budget. Rockets will be launched (weather permitting).

Build a Robotic Mars Rover

Students must decide how to create a robotic rover after being given a set of parameters and tasks that the rovers must accomplish on Mars. They begin with a price list for supplies and then receive varying criteria to design, build and test their rovers.  Teams are challenged to locate and retrieve Martian rocks with the rovers on our real-life version of a Martian landscape.

Engineer a Rover Lander

During this phase of the mission, each team must design and create a lander to safely protect the team’s rover payload from the impact of landing on the Martian surface. Payload protection is critical as the success of the rover mission cannot be accomplished if the rover is damaged before it is able to explore Mars. Working within a budget, each team must ensure its cargo can withstand the impact of a three-story drop onto a predetermined landing site.

Scuba Diving

Students will train like astronauts and participate in underwater training exercises using scuba gear in a local indoor pool in this exciting session.

NASA Tours

Several tours are given of NASA’s Johnson Space Center highlighting both Mars and project-related themes. View historic Mission Control Centers and the Space Station Mock-up Facility with its life-sized models of the International Space Station. Visit the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory where astronauts train for extravehicular activities (EVA) in simulated microgravity. See up-close rockets used in the early space program.

Talk to NASA Experts

Hear presentations by NASA personnel who are really making space exploration happen. Topics might include Space Exploration, Rocket Propulsion, Mission Control, the International Space Station, Space Shuttle, Robotics, Space Suit Design or Space Physiology.


Each student receives:

  • The winning team receives awards
  • Graduation Certificate

Strikethrough denotes date not available

2014 DATES

April 31-4, 7-11,14-18, 21-25, 28-2

May 5-9, 12-16, 19-23, 26-30

June 2-6, 9-13, 16-20, 23-27*(available for individuals), 30-4

July 7-11, 14-18, 21-25, 28-1

August 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-29

September 1-5, 8-12, 15-19, 22-26, 29-3

October 6-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-31

November 3-7, 10-14, 17-21

December 1-5, 8-12, 15-19, 29-2

Frequently asked questions

Former and current Space University participants:

  • Australia
  • China
  • Colombia
  • India
  • Korea
  • Mexico
  • Pakistan
  • Scotland
  • Taiwan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States


Graduation and dinner after hours in our Saturn Club while overlooking Space Center Houston or in our Starship Gallery under the stars and among historic artifacts.


Call: (281) 244-2164 or Email:

Space Center Houston Educational Programs