Ages 15-18 Program

Space Center University offers challenging, quality STEM education inspired by space exploration. The five-day Martian program includes the following:

  • Hands-on, engineering-based activities and data collection technology integration for real-world analysis.
  • Behind-the-scenes access to “the real thing” including exciting tours of actual astronaut training and work facilities, such as NASA Johnson Space Center, Rocket Park and the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory.
  • Interactive, project-based learning that includes sustainable habitat construction, strategic scientific planning and investigations, a one-stage rocket launch, underwater “astronaut training,” collaborative teaming and global awareness development.
  • Hear from guest speakers about what it takes to work at NASA and the projects that prepare humans for space exploration.
  • Daily lunch served at Space Center Houston in the Zero-G Diner.
  • Brunch with an Astronaut.
  • Graduation ceremony and certificates.

Register today

Program activities

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 astronauts from extreme temperatures of -321° Fahrenheit (-196° Celsius)


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. The rovers will be put to the test at the Space Center Houston Mars Yard where by, collecting rock samples and returning to base.

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.

NASA Exclusives: Behind-the-Scenes Reality Tours
Students will tour NASA Johnson Space Center with stops at historic Apollo era Mission Control, Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and the Space Vehicle Mockup 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 shuttle replica Independence atop the historic Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft.
Independence Plaza
Get a rare glimpse into the shuttle program with a tour of Houston’s international landmark exhibit Independence Plaza. Students will go inside the high-fidelity shuttle replica Independence, mounted on top of the historic and original NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft, 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.

Starship Gallery
Students will see and touch real moon rocks and flown spacecraft while learning about the history of space flight. Each tour consists of a 15-minute film and one 30-minute guided tour of Starship Gallery.

Brunch with an Astronaut
Dine with a NASA astronaut and hear their first-hand stories about space exploration.


Graduation
Celebrate your students’ achievements at Space Center U™ graduation surrounded by one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of space suits in our Astronaut Gallery. To commemorate the special experience, students will receive Space Center U™ certificates and medals.

Monday Welcome in Mission Briefing Center, NASA Johnson Space Center tour, one-stage rocket build, thermal and cryogenic design challenge
Tuesday Rocket launch, Martian habitat challenge
Wednesday NASA guest speaker, robotics design & construction
Thursday Neutral Buoyancy Lab tour, robotics competition, scuba dive activity
Friday 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.

Pricing information

No hotel included; Includes admission, supplies, staff, lunch and graduation.
Students $674.95
Chaperones $674.95

Includes hotel (double-occupancy), admission, supplies, staff, lunch and graduation.

Students $1045.95
Chaperones $1045.95

Graduation ceremony and Brunch with an Astronaut parent and non-program participant price: $69.95 per person.

No hotel included; Includes admission, supplies, staff, lunch and graduation.
Students $579.95
Chaperones $579.95

Includes hotel (double-occupancy), admission, supplies, staff, lunch and graduation.

Students $975.95
Chaperones $975.95

Graduation Ceremony and Brunch with an Astronaut parent and non-program participant price: $69.95 per person.

Age and class size

Participants must be between the ages of 15-18.

If the participant is 14 and turning 15, 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 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.

A minimum of 1:10 chaperons to student ratio is required for the program.

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