Space Center University

Ever dreamed of being an astronaut? Have you wondered what it feels like to be in Zero G? Do you want to engineer your own robotic rover and launch a rocket?

Come behind the scenes with Space Center University and get a taste of space exploration!

Space Center University is a challenging five-day engineering mission that facilitates teamwork, problem solving, communication, and adaptation to unexpected problems. Students will develop tools to improve critical thinking skills, creativity, fiscal responsibility and the drive to be successful.

Learn about rocket science, have direct interaction with real NASA experts and even brunch with an astronaut! Tour actual facilities where today’s astronauts and scientists work. Visit Mission Control and Rocket Park as well as our museum venue with over 400 things to see and do. Compete to be the best team, push your boundaries and expand your horizons. At the end of the week, receive an Official Space Center University Graduation Certificate. Your adventure awaits!

To register, contact Reservations at (281) 283-4755 or fill out the registration form and email it to reservations@spacecenter.org.

Availability

Space Center University is a week-long program offered year round, Monday through Friday. Students meet daily at Space Center Houston from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Space Center University is on a first-come, first-served basis, so register now to secure your booking. A completed and signed registration form is required along with a non-refundable administration fee to book your group.

Payment information

Space Center Houston accepts credit cards, money orders, cashier’s checks, and wire transfers. We do not accept personal checks or purchase orders.

A major credit card is the required form of payment to secure your reservation. The credit card will automatically be charged at the time of booking for your deposit and will be used for final payment if other arrangements have not been made three weeks prior to the day of visit. The reservation and hotel rooms will automatically be canceled if the credit card is declined and repayment has not been arranged.

Please make payment to Space Center Houston. If mailing payment, mail to:
Space Center Houston
Attention: Reservations
1601 NASA Parkway
Houston, TX 77058


Group Registration and Administration Fee $300.00
Additional Night Hotel Fee (Applies to all group sizes) $125.00

Space Center University requires a $300.00 non-refundable administration fee to make and secure your reservation and date. The date cannot be booked without payment.

Wire fees are the responsibility of the group and are in addition to all program cost. Exact payments are required.

Final payment and final number of participants are due three weeks prior to the day of visit. Space Center Houston reserves the right to cancel any reservation if final payment is not received 3 weeks prior to the day of visit.
No refunds will be issued after 3 weeks prior to your visit. This parameter is necessary due to the advanced hotel reservations, staff scheduling, food preparation, and material purchasing. For this reason, refunding partial or full payment is not possible.

Cancellation of your visit must be received in writing at least three weeks prior to the date of visit.

Space Center Houston reserves the right to cancel prior to the event due to low enrollment. Final cancellations for this reason will be determined 3 weeks or more from the scheduled date.

Pricing information

Student fee: Admission, supplies, staff, lunch, graduation $615.00
Student fee (all-inclusive package): Admission, supplies, staff, lunch, six nights in hotel, breakfast, graduation $950.00
Chaperons fee: Admission, supplies, staff, lunch, graduation $615.00
Chaperons fee (all-inclusive package): Admission, supplies, staff, lunch, six nights in hotel, graduation $950.00

Student fee: Admission, supplies, staff, lunch, graduation $525.00
Student fee (all-inclusive package): Admission, supplies, staff, lunch, six nights in hotel, graduation $885.00
Chaperons fee: Admission, supplies, staff, lunch, graduation $525.00
Chaperons fee (all-inclusive package): Admission, supplies, staff, lunch, six nights in hotel, graduation $885.00
Graduation brunch/ceremony *Parents and non-program participants $30.00

Age and Class Size

Participants must be between the ages of 14-18. If the participant is 13 and turning 14, they may attend with the understanding that the material is designed for high school, age-appropriate learning.
To open the event, there must be a minimum of 10 participants for groups. If a group has less than 10, they will need to pay the minimum (See payment information). Individual registrations are accepted only on the specified dates.

The maximum for each event is 60 students.

A minimum of 1:15 chaperon-to-student ratio is required.

Program Activities

Space Center University includes the following:

  • Exciting, engineering-based activities
  • Behind-the-scenes, hands-on access to “the real thing” with tours of actual astronaut training and work facilities at NASA Johnson Space Center
  • Interactive, project-based learning that includes sustainable habitat construction, strategic scientific planning and investigations, SIM activities, “astronaut training,” collaborative teaming and global awareness development
  • Brunch with an Astronaut
  • Exclusive expert guest speakers with Q&A opportunities
  • Graduation certificate and medals for winning team
  • Daily lunch served at Space Center Houston in the Zero-G Diner
  • Hotel accommodations included (All-inclusive package)

Rockets Red Glare
Participants will engineer, build and launch a two-stage rocket. Launching may vary based on weather conditions.

Roving Robotics
Students must decide how to create a robotic rover based on a 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 real world criteria to design, build and test their rovers.

Gravity Gyrations
Scuba diving leads off this exciting leg of the Space Center University™ experience. Zero-G training begins with an exciting scuba diving session with a licensed NASA diver. After which students will construct a habitat or perform essential tasks during this complete underwater training exercise.

ISS and Beyond
What’s it like living in space? How do astronauts get enough clean water and air? What happens if something goes wrong? Are there alternate sources of energy? How do astronauts communicate and work with peoples from different cultures? Students will participate in SIM (simulated) scenarios, build their own functioning habitat that sustains core areas of life while maintaining cultural and global awareness.

NASA Exclusives: Behind the Scenes

Reality Tours
Students will tour NASA Johnson Space Center with stops at historic Apollo era Mission Control, ISS Mission Control and the Space Station Mock-up Facility including its full-size training modules of the International Space Station. See rockets up-close that were used in early space program. Experience the space shuttle replica Independence atop the historic Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft NASA 905.

Expert Chat
Hear presentations by NASA astronauts with first-hand space exploration experience. Have a unique and exclusive chance to ask questions.

Sunday Hotel Check-in
Monday NASA Johnson Space Center tour, thermal design challenge, Starship Gallery artifacts
Tuesday Martian habitat challenge
Wednesday 2 Stage rocket construction, robotics design and construction
Thursday Robotics competition, Neutral Buoyancy Lab tour, scuba dive activity
Friday Single stage rocket activity, brunch with an astronaut, graduation certificates and medals, rocket launch party

* Activities are subject to change without notice due to weather or unforeseen circumstances.

Important details

Hotel reservations will be coordinated by Space Center Houston for the
all-inclusive package. The official check-in is Sunday at 6 p.m. You may add-on an additional day for $125.00 per night. All room arrangements are indoors with no outside access. All rooms are key access.

Hotel Code of Conduct
Each group is responsible for their students’ behavior while staying in the hotel. Space Center Houston is not responsible for unruly behavior and/or damage caused by participants in the Space Center University Program.

Transportation from any airport to the hotel is the responsibility of the participant. Transportation to and from the Hotel to Space Center Houston, the Neutral Buoyancy Lab/Scuba Dive Session will be the responsibility of the group. Groups should meet with the Program Coordinator daily at the front of Space Center Houston for check in and instructions.
Lunch
Lunch is provided Monday through Thursday in Zero-G Diner. Participants are given a meal ticket daily. Menu items may be chosen that are sensitive to personal dietary requirements and preferences from the stations available.

Other Meals
All-inclusive hotels offer a hot breakfast. All other hotels selected by the group, breakfast is the responsibility of the group. Evening meals are the responsibility of the participants. There are several restaurants within walking distance of Space Center Houston, as well as most of the area hotels used for lodging.

A graduation “Brunch with an Astronaut” ceremony will take place on Friday morning. Brunch will offer a buffet style meal for all participants. Parents are
welcome to join for a fee of $30.00. A minimum of two day advanced notice is needed.

Clothing
  • Pack enough clothing for at least 6 days.
  • Be sure to bring a swimsuit and a t-shirt for the Dive Session.
  • Pack a jacket as it may get cold in the classroom and a raincoat in case of inclement weather during the tram ride each day.

Other Items

  • Cameras are welcome.
  • Participants may want some form of entertainment for the evenings at the hotel.
  • Don’t forget to bring a charger for your electronic devices.
  • Most hotels used have Wi-Fi access.
  • Students may also want to bring cash for incidentals, evening meals, and souvenirs.

The safety of all participants and staff is very important.

If inclement weather is forecasted and Space Center Houston is asked to close,
we will notify all participants. If a participant cannot get to Space Center University due to the weather, please call and notify Reservations or your Education contact. Rocket launches will be cancelled if inclement weather occurs.

Space Center Houston can provide a Visa letter upon request for all international visitors. Visa Invitation letters will only be issued after the administration fee and registration forms have been completed. The letter will be sent to the group coordinator. Space Center Houston will not send the letter to the Embassy or Consulate.

Space Center University participants

Students from every continent in the world except Antarctica have participated in Space Center University including students from Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Israel, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa, Taiwan, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.

For more information, please read the Space Center University Frequently asked questions, call 281-283-4755 or email reservations@spacecenter.org.