National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program
The space-grant colleges compose a network of 52 consortia, based at universities across the United States, for outer space-related research. Each consortium is based in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia or Puerto Rico and consists of multiple independent institutions, with one of the institutions acting as the lead. The U.S. Congress established the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1988; NASA administers the program, and first took that role in 1989. Space grant colleges are not to be confused with land-grant colleges (a program instituted in 1862), sea-grant colleges (instituted in 1966) or sun-grant colleges (instituted in 2003).