Students from Around the World Train like an Astronaut in Space Center University

Counties represented are: Colombia, Spain and Malaysia

Release date: Nov. 25, 2019

What & when: Dec. 2-6, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (Book an appointment to get the best action shots.)

See more than 50 students from Colombia, Spain and Malaysia train like an astronaut in Space Center Houston’s Space Center University Dec. 2-6. Space Center U® students will do hands-on engineering design challenges tied to NASA missions, work under a budget and engineer solutions in areas such as robotics, rocketry, thermal protection systems and space habitats.

Go behind the scenes at Space Center U® and meet the next generation of explorers. Learn about their experience training in the immersive program. For some students, this is their first visit to the United States.

Space Center U® gives students the opportunity to collaborate in cross-cultural teams building a cultural exchange which is important to the success of the International Space Station. Students will tour the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, the pool with mock-ups of the ISS and where astronauts train underwater to perform a spacewalk. Watch students perform a thermal heat test. Students will work to protect their “Eggstronaut” used to endure the heat of blow torches, protected only by a thermal heat shield they design.

Combining classroom theory with cognitive and tactile tasks, Space Center U® simulates astronaut training and real-world NASA experiences. Students will be inspired as they conduct experiments, collaborate to find solutions and go behind-the-scenes at NASA Johnson Space Center. The program culminates with a graduation ceremony on Friday, Dec. 6 celebrating the students’ accomplishments and an exclusive Brunch with an Astronaut.

Space Center U® is open year-round to ages 11-18, college students and educators and a modified version is offered for the visually impaired. Additionally, the nonprofit has partnered with the Colombia-based She-Is Foundation to advance science learning for youth and educators from Colombia. Next year, the collaboration will bring 15 girls who are survivors of violence to Space Center Houston to participate in the first Spanish-language Space Center U®.

The leading education program draws students from around the world including Argentina, Australia, China, Mexico, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Space Center U® is one way the leading science and space exploration learning center is inspiring people of all ages with science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Register at

Where: Space Center Houston, 1601 NASA Parkway, Houston, TX 77058

Best Photo Ops: Watch a brief video about the program here.

  • See students launch rockets and scuba dive underwater to perform spacewalk.
  • Tour the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and see the pool with mock-ups of the ISS and where astronaut train underwater to perform a spacewalk.
  • Watch students work to protect their “Eggstronaut.” See an egg used to endure the fury of blow torches, protected only by a thermal heat shield they design.

Possible Interviews:

  • William T. Harris, Space Center Houston president and CEO (Spanish fluent)
  • Kaci Heins, Space Center Houston space center university director

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The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit science and space exploration learning center with extensive educational programs. Space Center Houston is the cornerstone of its mission to inspire all generations through the wonders of space exploration. The center draws more than one million visitors annually, was named “Best Museum in Texas” by USA Today and generates a $118.7 million annual economic impact in the greater Houston area. Space Center Houston is a Smithsonian Affiliate, the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center and a Certified Autism Center. More than 250,000 teachers and students from around the world visit the center annually to experience our educational space museum with more than 400 things to see and do. For more information, go to

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