The NASA Academy for Space Exploration (a.k.a. NASA Space Academy or NASA Academy) and NASA MARTI are intensive resident summer institutes of higher learning designed to guide the potential future leaders of the United States space and aeronautics programs by exposing participants of the latter to many facets of NASA and other sectors of the aerospace industry. The unique programs are designed primarily for talented and accomplished college upper-level undergraduate students and graduate students interested in pursuing professional and leadership careers in space- and aeronautics- related fields. The NASA Academies are designed to present a broad picture of the agency and some of its most important current and planned science, engineering, education and technology enterprises. Additionally, the Academies present a number of non-technical areas of critical significance, such as management, safety, personnel and career development, leadership, and teamwork. Students conduct supervised research in Glenn laboratories, attend lectures and workshops, and participate in visits to other selected NASA centers and space- and aeronautics-focused laboratories and industries.
NASA Academies and MARTI provide immersive and integrated multidisciplinary exposure and training for students with various backgrounds and career aspirations. The academic curriculum balances opportunities for direct experience in advanced science and engineering research and development and an awareness of the complex managerial, political, financial, social, and human issues faced by the past, present, and future aerospace programs. By participating in the NASA Academies and MARTI, the students join the NASA Academy Alumni Association (NAAA). The NAAA serves current and past members of the Academy and MARTI programs by promoting communications, fellowship, camaraderie, and an esprit de corps among and between all alumni. Additionally, the NAAA seeks to provide a mechanism to facilitate alumni participation in programs and projects, both internal and external to the NAAA, with view to promote NASA and space and aeronautics education, while communicating the excitement of space exploration and aeronautics to the general populace. As of 2001, alumni of the NASA Academies have gone on to become, or have achieved the following career status:
- Rhodes and Truman Scholars
- International Space University (ISU) Graduates
- Test pilots (Air Force / Navy)
- 70+ pursuing or have attained Ph.D./master’s degree (many at institutions such as Harvard, MIT, Cal-Tech, Stanford, and Princeton)
- 30+ returned for positions at NASA installations (ARC, GRC, GSFC, JSC, KSC, MSFC)
- Many others work in Industry: Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing, Space-X, Orbital Sciences …and the list goes on.