AESP History

50 Years of NASA Education Outreach

The Aerospace Education Services Project is NASA’s longest running project for education though it has evolved greatly over the years. 

AESP Origins

Established in 1961 to help teach Americans about the new Space Program, the project was first managed for NASA by the Franklin Institute and the original Aerospace Education

Specialists for the project attended schools and community events to give presentations.  Traveling across the country in vans emblazoned across the sides with the word Spacemobile, these “Spacemobilers” as they were known helped to nurture young peoples’ fascination with Science and Engineering that arose from the excitement of the Space Race.

AESP Today

Over 50 years later the project is still using the excitement of the work of NASA to engage students, but now focuses on helping educators understand NASA science and engineering and ways to use it to with students so that the excitement extends beyond a single school assembly. 

While NASA’s Education Specialists can still, on occasion, travel to a host’s location to present programs, more and more of their work is done virtually through video conferencing and other platforms.  The project is helping to lead the way in making these emerging technologies accessible through their expertise in using the tools available to make their virtual presence as much as possible as like being there and by responding to users needs to build sites that help them connect and learn.