Space Center U Visual Impairment Program
Space Center U® Visual Impairment (VI) Program is a new challenging three-day program for visually impaired students ages 15-18 that will run 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 8-10 at Space Center Houston.
This pilot program is modified from the existing Space Center U and combines classroom theory with cognitive and tactile tasks, which promote teamwork, solving problems, communication and engineering solutions to space-related situations. The program is designed to develop and improve critical-thinking skills, fiscal responsibility, creativity and the drive to be successful.
The science, technology, engineering and math, (STEM) training at Space Center U includes connections to real-world NASA experiences such as robotics, thermal protection systems, rocketry and parachute design.
Participants will be inspired as they go on exclusive tours of the shuttle replica Independence atop the historic NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft and touch a moon rock and a piece of Mars! A graduation ceremony will celebrate the students’ accomplishments and an exclusive Brunch with an Astronaut.
VI Program was developed jointly by Space Center Houston’s accessibility and inclusion coordinator and the Space Center U coordinator, as well as local experts, to meet the needs of students with low vision or blindness. A variety of visual assisting devices and technology will be provided to participants and written text will be in Braille and will be presented verbally. Tactile examples of key concepts will be given and page magnifiers and high-contrast materials will be available.
Space is limited for this pilot program, so sign up today.
Click here to download a large print registration form.
A completed and signed registration form is required to book your group. To register, contact Reservations at +1 281-283-4755 or fill out the registration form
and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Space Center U VI program includes the following:
Click here to download a large print registration form.
- Hands-on, engineering-based activities and data collection technology integration for real-world analysis
- Interactive, project-based learning that includes a one-stage rocket launch, thermal tile and cryogenic capsule testing, robotics, parachute design, collaborative teaming and implementation of critical thinking skills
- Experts speaking about what it takes to work at NASA and the projects that prepare humans for space exploration
- Daily lunch at Space Center Houston
- Brunch with an Astronaut
- Graduation ceremony and certificates
Space Exploration…Getting There
A critical aspect of being an astronaut is the ability to work with teammates to ensure mission success. Each day the students will engage in activities to learn how to listen, communicate, collaborate and solve problems together.
‘Go’ for launch!
Engineers in training will build and launch a one-stage rocket. They will perform stability tests to ensure their rockets are flight ready and work through calculations to determine apogee, or maximum altitude. Launch site may vary based on weather conditions.
Parachute and lander design
Landing on Mars is hard! Students will learn about the methods NASA has used to slow spacecraft and land rovers safely on the Martian surface to explore the terrain. These engineers in training then will design their own space capsules to protect their robots and a parachute system to slow it in order to land safely.
Participants will explore and accomplish tasks on Mars using a robotic rover based on a given set of parameters. Students will learn to code their robots in order to traverse Mars and ensure the success of their missions!
Bring the heat!
Getting back to Earth is no easy task for astronauts as their heat shields must withstand temperatures of over 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit due to the friction of the atmosphere. Students will design, build, test, re-design and re-test their heat shields to ensure they can protect astronauts during re-entry.
How is an astronaut protected from the cold conditions on Mars? Students will design and build a cryo-capsule to protect your astronauts from extreme temperatures of -321° Fahrenheit (-196° Celsius).
Space Center Houston tours
Experience the shuttle program with a tour of the international landmark exhibit Independence Plaza. Students will go inside the high-fidelity shuttle replica Independence, mounted on top of the historic NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft (SCA), and then explore the giant plane. It is the world’s only shuttle mounted on an SCA and the only one allowing the public to enter both.
Touch real moon rocks and encounter actual flown spacecraft while learning about the history of spaceflight.
Experience artifacts usually not available to the public in our specialized touch tour. Items from the throughout the history of human space flight will be available to explore through touch.
Discover what it takes to travel to Mars, what hardware will get humans to the fourth planet in our solar system and how humans may live on the red planet in the next few decades. Experience a virtual Martian sunset, climb into a simulated Orion capsule and feel the texture of rock cliffs inspired by the red planet in the interactive exhibit, Mission Mars.
Brunch with an Astronaut
Dine with a NASA astronaut and hear their first-hand stories about space exploration.
Celebrate your students’ achievements at Space Center U graduation. To commemorate the special experience, students will receive Space Center U certificates and awards for the winning team.
||Build and launch rocket, design and test thermal tile, design cryogenics capsule
||Robotics and parachute-design challenge, guest speaker
||Brunch and Q&A with an astronaut, Starship Gallery tour, Independence Plaza tour, graduation ceremony
*Activities are subject to change without notice due to weather or unforeseen circumstances.
No hotel included
|StudentsIncludes admission, supplies, staff, hear from NASA experts, private tours, Brunch with an Astronaut, lunch and graduation.
|ChaperonesIncludes admission, daily lunch, hear from NASA experts, private tours, Brunch with an Astronaut
|Graduation ceremony & Brunch with an Astronaut only (family members, other non-participants viewing ceremony)
Payment types and requirements
Space Center Houston accepts credit cards, money orders, cashier’s checks and wire transfers. Please note that wire fees are the responsibility of the group and are in addition to all program costs. Personal checks or purchase orders are not accepted.
A major credit card is the required form of payment to secure your reservation. The credit card will be charged at the time of booking for your administrative fees and will also be used for final payment if other arrangements have not been made four (4) weeks prior to the day of visit. The reservation will automatically be canceled if the credit card is declined and repayment has not been arranged.
Please make payment to Space Center Houston and mail to:
Space Center Houston
1601 NASA Parkway
Houston, TX 77058
Medical and media forms need to be submitted to email@example.com four (4) weeks prior to the event date. Click here to view and download the forms.
Cancellations and refunds
No refunds will be within four (4) weeks of your visit 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, four (4) 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 four (4) weeks or more from the scheduled date.
Lunch is provided Wednesday and Thursday in the classroom. Menu items may be chosen that are sensitive to personal dietary requirements and preferences from the stations available.
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 “Brunch with an Astronaut” 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 $69.95. A minimum of two day advanced notice is needed.
What to bring
- Pack enough clothing for at least three days.
- Pack a jacket as it may get cold in the classroom and a raincoat.
- Cameras are welcome.
- Participants may want some form of entertainment for the evenings at the hotel. Don’t forget to bring a charger for phone or game.
- Most hotels used have Wi-Fi access.
- Students may also want to bring cash for incidentals, evening meals and souvenirs.
- We highly encourage participants to bring any sort of assistive device or technology that they normally use to enhance their experiences.
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 U 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 staff will do their best to reschedule rocket launches if there is inclement weather, but cannot be guaranteed.
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.
For more information, please read the Space Center U™ frequently asked questions, call +1 281-283-4755 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.