Human Performance Accelerator Lab

SPACE CENTER HOUSTON’S Leadership Training and Development Program

NASA is recognized globally for the ability to innovate and lead under pressure, especially in the unforgiving environments of outer space. Our Human Performance Accelerator Lab (HPAL) strategically combines NASA leadership insights with cutting-edge and inspirational strategy, human resources, and business experts. Leverage these leadership learnings and experiences to more effectively lead your teams and strengthen your personal leadership toolkit.

Only Space Center Houston provides public access to NASA Johnson Space Center and now we’re providing virtual, off-site and in-person learning experiences rooted in NASA’s 60+ years of human performance research, training, and development.

The program will help you:

Unlock and ignite human potential and performance by practicing leadership techniques developed, tested, and trained by the NASA Human Research Program.

Apply collaboration and problem-solving practices in real time through authentic and immersive space exploration missions and experiences completed by NASA astronauts.

Accelerate individual and team performance by engaging with business experts and best-selling authors as well as NASA’s best and brightest astronauts, scientists, and engineers.

Our leadership curriculum focuses on three tenets – become an explorer, take the broader view, and embrace change. Explore topics such as self and team care, compassion, and culture management in order to inspire, innovate, and lead your teams more effectively.

This transformative leadership program benefits large and small businesses, non-profits, educational, and government organizations. With a program purchase, you support Space Center Houston, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that opens the gateway to space exploration and leadership for people from all walks of life.

Launch your leadership journey, and register today for one of our programs!


Become an explorer

Take a broader view

Embrace change

HPAL Programs

Accelerate Space Program


Imagine yourself building the next space capsule, coding a fully autonomous rocket, designing technology to harvest the Moon’s polar ice caps, engineering a colony on the Moon, or training astronauts to go to Mars.

If you are looking for a career change, have been affected by pandemic constraints, or have recently graduated from college or trade school, we want to help you achieve for dreams. Space Center Houston invites you to be part of this growing industry through our Accelerate Space Program.

Hosted by Space Center Houston’s Human Performance Accelerator Lab and powered by Microsoft, the Accelerate Space Program is a workforce development program aimed at upskilling workers to prepare them to seek and join the Houston region aerospace industry.

The Houston region is home to over 500 companies and institutions involved in aircraft or space vehicle manufacturing, research and technology or other air transportation support activities. You will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to increase your competitive advantage and benefit our communities, businesses, and economy.

Engage in virtual training sessions, onsite workshops, mock interviews, and a job fair with aerospace companies. The sessions will cover a variety of space and business topics including project management, digital skills, embracing uncertainty and taking calculated risks, and leadership/followership.

Upon completion of the program, you will have access to aerospace companies through an onsite job fair.


Cohort Members will receive

  •  Applicable aerospace and industry skills
  •  Opportunity to network with aerospace experts
  •  Tours of Space Center Houston and NASA Johnson Space Center

Program requirements

  •  Access to video conference equipment and internet connection (computer and webcam for Microsoft Teams meetings)
  •  Transportation to Space Center Houston for on-site sessions
  •  Must attend 100 percent of live events (virtual and onsite at Space Center Houston)
  •  Passion to grow & explore new opportunities

Compassionate Leadership: Leading with Heart

Date: Oct. 8 | 2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. CT
Price: $59 $24.95

When we have compassion for others, it creates a more inclusive workplace and makes us less biased towards coworkers. Stanford School of Business lecturer and author Leah Weiss joins former NASA astronaut Cady Coleman to lead you through how to be mindful in your interactions with your teams.

This program will:

  • Define compassionate leadership and its impact: Provide an understanding of “compassion” from a neuroscientific, health, and organizational psychology perspective, and how it impacts the quality of collaboration, innovation, and the capacity to receive and offer effective feedback.
  • Put compassionate leadership into context: Explain how compassion supports resilience and high-impact performance over the long term, and why compassion is crucial to understanding many of the issues at play in the workplace. Cady Coleman will share real-world experiences from space and on the ground at NASA to show how truly diverse and inclusive collaboration, enabled by compassionate leadership, yields impressive results.
  • Put compassionate leadership into practice: Provide simple compassion tools we, as leaders working at all levels of an organization, can pragmatically implement to increase professional fulfillment and resilience.

Learn more

Dr. Leah Weiss

Dr. Cady Coleman

Bouncing Back: Building Team Resilience

Date: Coming in September
Price: $99 $79
Language: Spanish

Establishing and harnessing collective team strength and communicating and implementing a shared vision could not be more important during these particularly challenging times. Join NASA astronaut Dan Olivas and Space Center Houston CEO William Harris, as they share stories and insights into maximizing individual and team performance. Gain practical and proven leadership tools and tactics to create change in your organization and set a path for future success.

Establecer y aprovechar la fuerza del equipo colectivo y comunicar e implementar una visión compartida no podría ser más importante durante estos tiempos particularmente desafiantes. Acompaña al astronauta de la NASA Dan Olivas y al director ejecutivo del Centro Espacial de Houston, William Harris, mientras comparten historias y conocimientos para maximizar el rendimiento individual y en equipo. Obtén prácticas y útiles herramientas de liderazgo y tácticas para generar cambios en tu organización y establecer un camino para el éxito venidero.


William T. Harris

Dr. John Olivas

Resilient Leadership: Finding a Way Forward

Date: To be announced
Price: $99

Prepare yourself and your teams for a more resilient future. Learn from failures and maximize individual and team performance as you move forward from difficult circumstances. Leading the discussion and sharing stories of resiliency from the fatal Space Shuttle Challenger disaster to working in isolation are space experts Leroy Chiao, astronaut and former International Space Station commander, and Lon Miller, recipient of two NASA performance medals.


Dr. Leroy Chiao

Lon Miller

Innovative Leadership: Leading Through Play

Date: To be announced
Price: $99

Dynamic and interactive play of ideas can create powerful new products and processes. Join Dan Klein, Stanford School of Business lecturer and performer, and Nicole Stott, astronaut and artist, to fine tune your skills in order to grasp innovative ideas and implement them.


Dan Klein

Nicole Stott

Impactful Leadership: Cultural Competency in Teams

Date: To be announced
Price: $99

Intention is not enough. Developing the ability to recognize and act on differences allows leaders to fluently connect with each team member and adjust for needs as they come up. William Harris, Space Center Houston CEO and diversity and inclusion advocate, joins astronaut Livingston Holder, Jr. to share stories of intentional listening, meaningful adaptations, and impactful change.


William T. Harris

Livingston Holder Jr.

Looking for a custom experience? Our Human Performance Accelerator Lab programs can be customized to fit your organization’s needs. To learn more about custom programs, please contact Ann Hernandez at
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