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™ and get a taste of space exploration!
Space Center U™ is a challenging five-day program offered year-round, Monday through Friday, that promotes teamwork, problem solving, communication and engineering solutions to space related situations.
Participants will meet daily at Space Center Houston from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The program is designed to develop and improve critical thinking skills, fiscal responsibility, creativity and the drive to be successful.
Space Exploration…Getting There
• Mars or Bust
Participants will engineer, build and launch a one-stage rocket. Launch site may vary based on weather conditions.
• Bring the Heat
Students will design, construct and test a thermal heat shield to be able to withstand temperatures up to 1,000° Fahrenheit (538° Celsius). This exercise simulates the effect of friction on a heat shield during entry into the Martian atmosphere.
• Cryogenics Testing
Can you protect your astronaut from the cold conditions on Mars? Design and build a cryo-capsule to protect your astronaut from extreme temperatures of -321° Fahrenheit (-196° Celsius). Astronauts and Engineers…Living There
• Working in Weightlessness
Working with licensed dive instructors in a local indoor swimming pool, participants will learn the techniques taught to astronauts as part of their preparation for performing tasks in microgravity. After which students will construct a mock-up airlock and perform other essential tasks similar to those developed by NASA.
• Roving Robotics
Students must decide how to engineer a robotic rover based on a given set of parameters and tasks that the rover must accomplish on Mars. They begin with a budget, price list for supplies and then are given varying real world criteria to design, construct then test their rovers.
• Living on Mars
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.
It’s Not Rocket Science…Oh, Wait, Yes it Is!
• NASA Exclusives: Behind-the-Scenes Reality Tours
Students will tour NASA’s Johnson Space Center with stops at historic Apollo era Mission Control, Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility including its full-size training modules of the International Space Station. See rockets up-close that were used in early space exploration. Experience the space shuttle replica Independence atop the historic Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft.
* Activities are subject to change without notice due to weather or unforeseen circumstances
• Participants must be between the ages of 14-18.
• To open the event, there must be a minimum of 10 participants in a group. If a group has less than 10,
they will need to pay the minimum fee (See payment information). Individual registrations are
accepted only on the dates that have confirmed participants already scheduled to ensure that there
are the minimum number of students to book the program.
• The maximum per event is 70 students. Larger groups will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
• 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.
• A minimum of 1:10 chaperons to student ratio is required for the program
Group Registration and Administration Fee $300
Additional Night Hotel Fee (Applies to all group sizes) $159 per room
Space Center U™ requires a $300 non-refundable administration fee to make and secure your reservation and date. The date cannot be booked without payment with full and final payment required four weeks prior to your event date.
Wire fees are the responsibility of the group and are in addition to all program cost. Exact payments are required. Wire transfers must be received by Space Center Houston four (3) weeks before the scheduled date.
Includes hotel (double-occupancy, 6 nights), admission, supplies, staff, dinner, Transportation(in Houston) lunch and graduation.
Graduation Ceremony and Brunch with an Astronaut parent and non-program participant price: $30 per person.
No Hotel $890
How many students can I bring to Space Center U™ and what is the age limit?
The program requires a minimum of 10 students and has a maximum of 70 students. The age limit for Space Center U™ is 14 and up.
How many adults / chaperones must we bring with the group?
A ratio of 1:10 adults to students is required.
Do chaperones and tour company representatives need to pay?
Yes, all students, chaperones and representatives must have a Space Center University™ ticket for entrance.
What role do the chaperones have with the group while at Space Center Houston?
The chaperones are to support the Instructors and we want your participation! This is especially true in the case of language barriers. We want to give the most exciting experience possible to your students. Teamwork between chaperones and instructors helps to make this possible. There must always be at least 1 chaperone / adult present while class is in session with access to both the Medical and Image Release Forms of every student at all times.
Does Space Center University™ have dormitories or lodging for the students?
At this time we have no dormitories for the students or chaperones / adults. Lodging will be the responsibility of the group. Space Center Houston offers an “all-inclusive package” which includes hotel accommodations. Note: Hotel bookings are for double occupancy only, single occupancy is not permitted.
Is there a fee required for booking a reservation?
YES, we require a $300 administration fee to secure your reservation date. The date cannot be booked without payment. The administration fee is non-refundable.
Do you accept payments upon arrival? When is the final payment due?
NO, we do not accept payment on arrival. The entire payment and total number of participants are due four (12) weeks before your visit. Space Center Houston reserves the right to cancel any reservation if a final payment is not received within four (12) weeks prior to visit.
What forms of payment are accepted?
We accept all major credit cards, money orders and wire transfers
What is the cancellation policy?
No refunds will be issued after four (12) prior to your visit. Food, staff, and materials are determined based on the number of participants given four (12) weeks before your visit. For this reason, refunding partial or full payment is not possible.
Do you provide an invitation letter for student and adult visa requests?
YES, we can provide an invitation letter once the administration fee and forms have been received. A list of participants and a location of where the visas are being processed will also be required. (Consulate, Embassy). We will email the letter to the group coordinator. We do not send the letter directly to the Embassy or Consulate.
What documents are required in advance of the group’s arrival?
The following documents are required for each participant in advance of the group’s arrival – Medical Form and Image Release Form.
Note: There must always be at least 1 chaperone / adult present while class is in session with access to both the Medical and Image Release Forms of every student at all times.