Related NASA Sites

NASA Research Centers


NEW:  Summer of 2019 NASA Academy

2019 NASA Academy Group Photo by NASA Langley Front Gate

2019 NASA Academy at Langley after their student forum presentation on Aug 2, 2019


Application information for a 2020 NASA Academy will be posted here in late fall, 2019.

We plan to partner with the Space Grant Program to accept applications.  Please consult your Space Grant office to ask about their requirements.   Each state has its own Space Grant office, the link is

The Langley Academy research project will be announced in December.  Applications are sought from Engineering majors (Aero, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Mechanical, Systems), Computer Science, Applied Math and Applied Physics, or similar majors.  Rising seniors or first year graduate students are preferred candidates.    US Citizenship is required.

The 2020 summer team will accept students first by partnering with the student’s state Space Grant Consortium, non-Space Grant funded students will be accepted if other funds are available.

Eligibility:  Full time students who are US Citizens, GPA of 3.2 or higher, completed two full years of college.   Preferred candidates will have completed three full years of college.    Non-US Citizens are ineligible for this program. Competitive applicants will have have demonstrated successful experience working in teams, have passed their state Space Grant’s requirement of intern eligibility,  have excellent communication and excellent interpersonal skills.  Letters of recommendation are required in the application.  Priority will be given to those majoring in relevant engineering disciplines (Aeronautics, Computer, Electrical, Mechanical, or Systems), Computer Science, and those majoring in applied mathematics, physics or applied physics, instrumentation, electronics, or mechatronics.

Note, this is NOT a typical internship with a mentor-prescribed research plan.This is an intense multi disciplinary research project that requires focus and commitment.   A real problem in aeronautics or aerospace is given to the team and the team decides how to solve the problem using available resources.  The team will have a technical advisory committee composed of NASA experts in the area of the project, including past summer team alumni.  The advisory committee meets once per week to hear the team’s progress, take questions, make suggestions, etc.

Past NASA Academy multi disciplinary teams (Aeronautics Academy, MARTI, and LADDER) have produced technical conference papers and invention disclosures.    Members of the 2017 LADDER team (aka NASA Academy at Langley), presented the team’s technical paper at the 2018 AIAA SciTech Forum held in Florida on Jan 9, 2018.

Pictured, from the Right: Andrew Puetz, Ben Kaiser, Carie Navio, Ali Fares, and Johnathan Markel

The summer program will run for 10 -12 weeks, roughly end of May through early to mid August.

Letter of Application, resume, unofficial transcript and emails/phone for two references can be submitted to on or before February 1, 2020.  Space Grant sponsored students are encouraged to apply.  Questions can be emailed to program director, Dr. Elizabeth Ward @


2018 NASA Academy @ Langley Research Center

A 13 person team designed and programmed a mixed reality simulation of several small unmanned aerial vehicles flying in a simulated urban environment.  .

NASA Academy Research Associates, 2018

From left to right:  Ryan Bowers, Austin Peek, Jack Fitzpatrick, Jack Olinde, Kyle Tam, Bradley Zelenka, Mirin Morris-Ward, Keegan Bergman, Van Duong, Aaron Shepard, Torie Miller, Will Grismore, and Jabbar Hussie

Team members included students from University of Alaska, University of California, San Diego, University of Delaware, Georgia Tech, University of Minnesota, University of Mississippi, Clemson University and University of South Carolina, West Virginia University, and University of Wisconsin, Madison.

News for 2017:

Langley Advanced Design & Development Engineering Research (LADDER) Team

at NASA Langley Research Center

Summer of 2017

The LADDER team project was to Design, build, and flight test a small autonomous system of three linked UAVs capable of docking to form a single UAS and in-air undocking to land each vehicle separately.  The 12-person multidisciplinary team worked for 11 weeks to  successfully design, build, and flight test their system.  The team was funded by Space Grant Consortia, Universities, and Langley Research Center.

LADDER Team 2017  Front row from the left:  Alex Denis (team lead), Carie Navio, Collette Kawagley; Theresa Bender; Jordan Martin; Ryan Maxwell.  Back row from the left: Jonathan Markel; Ben Kaiser; Stephen Richards; Jacob Goldsberry; Andrew Puetz; and Ali Fares.

Disciplines and universities represented on the Ladder team:

Aerospace Engineering (University of Texas; University of Minnesota; Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Virginia Tech)

Mechanical Engineering (Old Dominion University, University of Alaska, Anchorage; University of Maine;  South Dakota State University)

Electrical Engineering (University of Alaska, Anchorage)

Computer Engineering (University of Alaska, Fairbanks)

Physics (Bethel University, Minnesota)

 2016 MARTI* Team, Langley

*MARTI at four NASA centers was discontinued by the NASA HQ Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in March of 2017

The summer 2016 MARTI team at Langley produced a small Unmanned Aerial System of hexacopters capable of fully autonomous operations including vertical take off,  forward flight along predetermined way points, collect surveillance data, precision vertical landing, battery recharge, wireless data transfer, and vertical take off  to repeat the sequence.  All test flights were tethered or occurred inside a netted area in order to abide by NASA and FAA safety regulations.  The team submitted four invention disclosures as a result of their summer project.

Flight test platform and pre flight checks.

Flight test platform and pre flight checks.

Flight testing completed, August 9, 2016.

Flight testing completed, August 9, 2016.


Ben Hargis, Nick Villanueva, Lauren Schlenker, Drew Cruz, Lindsey Carboneau, Josiah Michael, Matthew Powelson, Andrew Clark, Konrad Nowak

2016 MARTI members: left to right first row: Ben Hargis, Nick Villanueva, Lauren Schlenker, Right to left second row:  Bradley Conn, Drew Cruz, Lindsey Carboneau, Josiah Michael, Matthew Powelson, Andrew Clark, Konrad Nowak


 2015 MARTI Team, Langley

The inaugural Langley MARTI completed a 12 week Design, Build, Fly project during the summer of 2015. The team and their vehicle, PROTEUS, are pictured below:

2015 Summer MARTI interns with their vehicle PROTEUS

2015 Summer MARTI interns with their vehicle:  From the left, Derya Tansel, Melinda Darrow, Peter Finch, Matt Holdren, Zach Bassett, Henry Kwan, Alex Flock, David Vutetakis, Adam Bass

About MARTI* at Langley

*MARTI at four NASA centers was discontinued by the NASA HQ Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in March of 2017

The NASA MARTI at Langley offered an intense, integrated, multidisciplinary opportunity for individuals with career aspirations in the national aeronautics or aerospace enterprise. The MARTI experience helped prepare aspiring young professionals for employment by providing opportunities for direct science and engineering experience with an awareness of the complex managerial, political, financial, social, and human issues faced by current and future aerospace programs.

MARTI teams received training in integrated systems research, project management, leadership, teamwork, and multidisciplinary collaboration. Participants worked as a team on a multifaceted problem as guided by professional scientists and engineers. In addition to exposure to NASA, they also gained broader exposure to aeronautics through visits to industry and other research facilities.

The experience included a series of subject matter expert lectures and/or short courses, lunches with senior leaders, and focused discussions with program and project engineers. Participants were enrolled in Aeronautical, Aerospace Engineering, or related disciplines, including Mechanical, Electrical, Systems, and Computer Engineering, Mechatronics, Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics, Software Engineering, or Computer Science. This was an intense, rigorous program for the entire team. It was not the typical 9 to 5 research experience where individuals work one on one with a mentor. 

MARTI logo[3]


More about MARTI at Langley:

At the completion of the project, MARTI researchers presented their findings orally to NASA leaders at center forums and via video conferencing and/or in person to NASA Headquarters or other NASA centers. During the course of the project, there were opportunities to visit other NASA, industry or federal laboratories. A NASA Technical report or professional conference technical paper may be published from the project.

As part of MARTI, participants collaborated with Langley engineers, attended lectures, participated in leadership discussions, and documented their research with oral and written communication. MARTI was a real-world integrated systems research environment. Team members shared an apartment with one other MARTI participant. H

Any questions on MARTI or the LADDER Team at Langley can be sent to:

2014 Aero students with an F22

2014 Aero students with an F22

MARTI supported research for the NASA ARMD Programs


Advanced Air Vehicles Program Icon Advanced Air Vehicles Program (AAVP)
+ Read More
Airspace Operations and Safety Program Icon Airspace Operations and Safety Program (AOSP)
+ Read More
Integration Aviation Systems Program Icon Integrated Aviation Systems Program (IASP)
+ Read More
Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program Icon Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program (TACP)
+ Read More



Desired Attributes of Applicants:

  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully as part of a team.
  • Leadership qualities and a desire to pursue a career in aeronautics.
  • College/Academic Level at time of Internship or Fellowship: 3rd year undergraduate (Junior) through second year graduate student (Community College students in a 2+2 transfer program may apply if they will have completed the first two years and are enrolling in the third year prior to August 2017)
  • Academic Disciplines/Majors – Computer Engineering or Computer Science; Engineering majors: Aerospace/Aeronautical/Mechanical/Electrical/Instrumentation/ and Systems Engineering. Related majors considered, e.g. Mechatronics, Applied Physics or Mathematics.
2011 Inaugural Aero Academy with Dr. Shin

2011 ARMD Inaugural Multidisciplinary Aeronautics Team (formerly known as Aeronautics Academy) at NASA HQ. left to right front row:  T. Harris, Y. Shimizu, Dr. Jaiwon Shin, K. Scheider, L. Humphrey, back row: B. Johnson, E. Bookeloo, A. Favaloro, C. McAtee, T. Lake, Jr.



GPA 3.2 minimum, U.S. citizenship required. Minimum age of 18. Junior or senior undergraduate or first or second year graduate, high academic standing, and desire to pursue aeronautics and related disciplines as a career. Veterans, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Left to right: MARTI 2015 with NASA engineer, Bill Fredericks, Henry Kwan, Derya Tansel, Zack Bassett, Melinda Darrow, Perter Finch, Matt Holdren, David Vutetakis, Alex Flock, Adam Bass

Left to right: MARTI 2015 with NASA engineer, Bill Fredericks, Henry Kwan, Derya Tansel, Zack Bassett, Melinda Darrow, Perter Finch, Matt Holdren, David Vutetakis, Alex Flock, Adam Bass

2015 Summer MARTI Participants:
Adam Bass, Aerospace Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology

Zach Bassett,* Aerospace Engineering, University of Texas, Austin

Melinda Darrow,  Systems Engineering, Southern Methodist University

Peter Finch, Mechanical Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Alex Flock, Engineering, Kent State University

Matt Holdren,* Aerospace Engineering, Case Western University

Henry Kwan,  Mechanical Engineering, University at Buffalo

Derya Tansel, Electrical Engineering, University of Florida

David Vutetakis, Electrical Engineering Technology, U. of North Carolina, Charlotte

Ben Hargis, Nick Villanueva, Lauren Schlenker, Drew Cruz, Lindsey Carboneau, Josiah Michael, Matthew Powelson, Andrew Clark, Konrad Nowak

Left to right first row:  Ben Hargis, Nick Villanueva, Lauren Schlenker, Second row, right to left:  Bradley Conn, Drew Cruz, Lindsey Carboneau, Josiah Michael, Matthew Powelson, Andrew Clark, Konrad Nowak

2016 NASA MARTI at Langley:

Lindsey Carboneau, Software Engineering, FL Gulf Coast University

Andrew Clark, Computer Science, U. Texas San Antonio

Bradley Conn, Computer Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology

Drew Cruz, Electrical Engineering, U. Texas, Arlington

Ben Hargis*, Mechanical Engineering, Tennessee Technological University

Josiah Michael, Electrical Engineering, U. of Wisconsin Platville

Konrad Nowak, Aerospace Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology

Matthew Powelson, Mechanical Engineering, Tennessee Technological University

Lauren Schlenker, Aerospace Engineering & Physics, U. of Minnesota

Nick Villanueva, Aerospace Engineering, Mass. Inst. of Technology


*denotes team lead


Former Aeronautics Academy teams, 2011-2015 are listed here