The NASA Academy was founded in 1993 at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), by Gerald Soffen, life-long pioneer and leader in space exploration, research, and education. In its first 9 years, 336 Research Associates have graduated from Academy programs at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Ames Research Center (ARC), Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), and Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC).
- To support and enhance the general objectives and mission of NASA.
- To make available to the selected students guided access to extensive resources at the participating NASA Research and Space Flight Centers and their infrastructure, science, technology, and organizational and managerial expertise.
- To provide a unique, intensive, and rigorous educational and training curriculum related to the organization of NASA, its in-house science and technology projects, its collaboration with other National centers, industry, and academia, and its extensive technology transfer programs.
- To facilitate access to, and dissemination of valuable information on career development paths, financial support, technical writing standards, intellectual property, etc.
- To create an environment that fosters creativity, personal initiative, and leadership qualities, together with group mentality, teamwork, and professional ethics.
NASA Academy represents an immersive and integrated multidisciplinary exposure and training, for students with various backgrounds and career aspirations of critical importance to the national aerospace program.
The academic curriculum balances opportunities for direct contact with advanced science and engineering R&D and an awareness of the complex managerial, political, financial, social, and human issues faced by the current and future aerospace programs.
Co-sponsorship of the Academy assures recruitment of meritorious students from previously under-represented areas of the country, into leadership positions for the aerospace programs of the future.