Universities Space Research Association (USRA)

Written by Paul Wynns

The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is a non-profit organization established in 1969 under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences at the request of the U.S. government. It was created to facilitate the collaboration between universities and the government in space science and technology. Today, USRA operates as an independent entity, engaging academia, industry, and government in advancing research, education, and operations in space and aeronautical sciences. The association's mission is to foster scientific research and technology development in disciplines that support space science and exploration, and to promote education in these areas through scholarships, fellowships, and public outreach.

USRA manages and participates in a variety of research initiatives and projects across a broad spectrum of space-related disciplines. This includes Earth sciences, astronomy, astrophysics, planetary science, and materials science, among others. Through its unique position, USRA facilitates a collaborative environment where leading scientists and researchers from universities can work together with government agencies like NASA and private industry partners on cutting-edge research and exploration projects. This collaborative approach ensures that the scientific community has access to the necessary resources and expertise to drive advancements in space science and technology.

One of the key strengths of USRA is its ability to operate research institutes and facilities. These include managing observatories, laboratories, and research centers that provide valuable infrastructure for space research. USRA also plays a crucial role in promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education through outreach programs, internships, and scholarships aimed at encouraging young people to pursue careers in these fields.

Overall, the Universities Space Research Association represents a vital link between the academic community, government agencies, and the private sector, promoting cooperation that leads to significant advancements in our understanding of the universe and our place within it. Through its commitment to research excellence and education, USRA continues to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of space exploration and science.


Universities Space Research Association (USRA) Distinguished Undergraduate Awards

Multiple awards worth
Grade Level
College Upperclassmen

The USRA Distinguished Undergraduate Awards provide college scholarship awards to students who have shown a career interest in science or engineering with an emphasis on space research or space science education, and aeronautics-related...