Space Center U

Ever dreamed of being an astronaut? Have you wondered what it takes to travel and live on Mars? Do you want to engineer your own robotic rover and launch a rocket?

Come behind the scenes with Space Center U®, the ultimate educational experience, and get a taste of space exploration! Space Center U is a challenging multi-day program offered year-round to individuals and groups. The program promotes teamwork, problem solving, communication and engineering solutions to space related situations. It is designed to develop and improve critical thinking skills, fiscal responsibility, creativity and the drive to be successful.

Will you make the cut? There is only one way to know. Space is limited, so sign up today.

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We are offering inspiring Space Center University experiences with safety top of mind. Please review our frequently asked questions and health and safety policies and procedures.

Space Center U Programs

Immersing students in authentic learning opportunities tied to NASA missions, Space Center U offers a high level of STEM topics applied to real world and space related experiences.

Space Center University students will discover areas such as robotics, rocketry, thermal protection systems and space habitats. Participants will be inspired as they engineer solutions to space related challenges, collaborate to find solutions and go behind-the-scenes at NASA Johnson Space Center. The program culminates with a social distancing graduation ceremony celebrating the students’ accomplishments and a virtual astronaut presentation with Q&A.


To register for a Space Center U program, visit the program links and complete online registration.

For more information, please read the Space Center U frequently asked questions, email or call +1 281-283-4755.

Did you know Dual-level members and above receive a discount for Space Center U registration? Contact the membership department at for more information.

The Gene Kranz Scholarship

2022 Scholarships have been awarded.

The Gene Kranz Scholarship Program provides deserving students ages 11-18 with scholarships to Space Center U®, a week-long, immersive engineering design program that enables students to build essential life skills and a drive for continuous ingenuity that Kranz made famous: competence under pressure, innovative problem solving and excellent teamwork. Through students’ participation in Space Center U®, Space Center Houston broadens opportunities for students to participate in immersive STEM learning experiences and fields. 

The Gene Kranz Doctrine

Directly after the Apollo 1 tragedy, Gene Kranz addressed his mission control team and established the Kranz Dictum, which states, “…From this day forward, Flight Control will be known by two words: ‘Tough’ and ‘Competent.’ Tough means we are forever accountable for what we do or what we fail to do. We will never again compromise our responsibilities… Competent means we will never take anything for granted. We will never be found short in our knowledge and in our skills…”

Application Selection Process

Applicants will submit an essay relating to the Gene Kranz Doctrine and submission of a letter of reference from one of their educators. Scholarships will be awarded based the impact of the applicant’s essay and a letter of reference from an educator. Selected applicants will be notified via email if they are selected. Scholarship recipients are selected by a Space Center Houston Education Committee made up of education specialists and directors under the direction of the Education Vice President for Space Center Houston.

The scholarship includes registration to a Space Center Houston Space University Program, but it does not cover travel expenses or lodging. Participants must arrange their own transportation to and from the airport, to and from the hotel each day, and to other destinations depending on the program selected (Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, SCUBA session, etc.). Scholarship value is $600 – to be utilized for Space U programming only. No cash value.

Submission Instructions

  1. How to apply – Submit an online application including essay and letter of reference during open application period. We cannot accept any late applications, essay submission or letters of reference. Please click on the link below to begin the submission process.
  2. Submit an online essay related to the Gene Kranz Doctrine (no more than 500 words). The essay question will be within the online process. The essay section will be available after your completion of the application.
  3. Letter of reference from an educator for the applicant – to be uploaded via the online submission system.
  4. Selected applicants will be notified via email mid-December 2022 if they are selected

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be emailed to and received no later than four weeks before the first day of program. (Participants will be re-scheduled based on availability of open program slots; Cancellations made after the deadline will not be rescheduled and candidates will not be considered for future scholarships; if Space Center Houston cancels the program, the registrant(s) may reschedule).

We are offering inspiring Space Center University experiences with safety top of mind. Please review our frequently asked questions and health and safety policies and procedures.
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