Universities Space Research Association was incorporated in 1969 in Washington D.C. at the beginning of space age; it was driven by two personalities James Webb (NASA Administrator 1961-1968) and Frederick Seitz (National Academy of Sciences President 1962-1969). They both state that for technical research of space there should be an innovative technologies and developed concepts. Together, they worked to create USRA to satisfy not only the ongoing research for innovation in space, but also the need to involve scientific community more broadly so the benefits of space activities and research would be realized.
USRA nowadays research on wide spectrum of disciplines on the challenges given by space programs. USRA provides a platform through which universities and research centres can interact and cooperate with other departments, with government and related organisation to further space and science technology and to share and promote research in this area. USRA has grown up with 49 colleges and universities when started and 105 institutions in the current. USRA is associated with different institutes and programs like Astronomy program at the Arecibo Observatory, Center for Advanced Space Studies (CASS), Center for Program/Project Management Research (CPMR), Cooperative Program in Space Science (CPSS), Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR), Division of Space Life Sciences (DSLS), Education Programs Office at CASS, Earth Sciences Applications Research Program (ESARP), Earth System Science Education for the 21st Century (ESSE 21), Earth System Science Program (ESSP) in Huntsville, NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program, NASA Summer Faculty Research Opportunities (NSFRO), Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), National Center for Space Exploration Research on Fluids and Combustion (NCSER), Navy Astronomy Programs (NRL and USNO), Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science (RIACS), Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), Technology Development and Aerospace Environments (TDAE), USRA Astronomy Program in Huntsville and Visiting Researcher Exchange and Outreach (VREO) Program. In 1968, Dr. Seitz's proposed a consortium and 45 universities met to discuss about the space organisation and research. USRA nowadays grown up with more than 100 member universities and more than 400 scientific , techinal and professional staff at the headquarters and some at the co-located NASA centres. USRA supports outreach programs developed for students K-12, high school, undergraduate and graduate, and postgraduate, professionals, educators, and the public. In 2015, USRA engaged in 1825 activities with 548 organisations in which 535 activities to member of universities, 608 to non-member universities and 682 to other research organisations. The financial revenue of USRA is increased from [2010 ($66.6)-2015 ($115.7)]. The university headed by the Chairman James H. Crocker and President Jeffrey A. Isaacson.
They have accomplished some points as, A new cooperative agreement with NASA for continued operation of the Lunar and Planetary Institute (which we have operated since 1969), An award from Google to upgrade the D-Wave quantum computer at the NASA Ames Quantum AI Lab to 1097 qubits. This allows the collaboration to continue until 2022, A contract from NASA to operate the prestigious NASA Postdoctoral Program, which enables approximately 240 fellowships across eight NASA centers and An increase in the number of high school, undergraduate, and pre-doctoral internships that USRA manages, now totaling more than 1,500 per year. There are some other personalities of the USRA, Nicholas E. White, Senior Vice President, Science; Jeanie Greenwell, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Vince P. Defrancisci, Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development. Recently, USRA Announces a $193 Million Award from NASA for Operation of NASA Academic Mission Services, Universities Space Research Association's scientist receives presidential award and USRA contributes to The New York Times virtual reality experience 'Seeking Pluto's Frigid Heart' and USRA HQ employees observe Mercury's transit in front of the Sun. USRA main mission is to advance the space- and aeronautics-related sciences and exploration through innovative research, technology, and education programs.