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Reservation Guidelines & Rental Policy

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Gilruth Conference Center Rental Policy

Updated April 2024 

Starport operates a conference center specifically for NASA mission-related meetings, events, and activities at no cost if it furthers NASA’s mission and/or promotes employee morale.

Based on availability, Starport also welcomes the public to reserve conference space during excess capacity hours. It is important to note, that while the Gilruth Center is accessible to the public, it is not open to the public without prior approval. Patrons on federal property must be approved as guests. 

All requests for events and activities must be approved and confirmed prior to the event.

To ensure your reservation request is fulfilled to satisfaction please note the following best practices:

  1. Reservation request forms shall be submitted to the Starport Reservations Inbox at and coordinated at least two weeks in advance with the Starport Guest Relations Lead.
  2. When scheduling a reservation, please allow a minimum of one to two business days for the Guest Relations Lead to respond to your request. Requests are processed based on relevancy to NASA business, complexity of the reservation request, and the order in which the request was received.
  3. Please note reservations are not confirmed unless you receive a rental permit and or a direct statement of confirmation from the Guest Relations Lead.
  4. We recommend that customers who have intricate room setups and or Wi-Fi and A/V requirements, schedule a visit to the Gilruth Center prior to their event or meeting.
  5. Please note that non-NASA related or personal reservations requested by JSC employees do not take precedence over official NASA mission-related meetings and activities. Room fees are not discounted for personal use. If necessary, a reservation may be altered or changed with reasonable notice due to mission related requirements.

Rental Fees

0% Fee Category

Pricing is set based on NASA affiliation.  Official NASA mission-related meetings are not assessed a rental fee and are defined as:  

  • A NASA mission-related event sponsored by a JSC organization or Starport Partner company which directly relates to NASA’s mission (e.g., business meetings, employee training, organizational retreats, recognition events, holiday celebrations, award luncheons, NASA sponsored educational events, and/or all hands meetings).  
  • JSC Employee Resource Groups* (ERGs) (12 instances per year) 
  • Officially recognized Starport Clubs* (12 instances per year) 
  • NASA Alumni League* (up to one board meeting and one member meeting per month, plus four socials per year in the Destiny Ballroom) 
  • Retirement Parties for Civil Servants or Starport Partner employees 

*ERGs, NAL, and NASA Clubs, please note, meeting space is provided as availability allows, and except where noted, will not include the Destiny Ballroom. Exceptions will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Exchange Operations Manager and/or an Exchange delegee.  

50% Fee Category

  • Central Space Design Competition  
  • Houston Aerospace Scholars  
  • Space Family Education, Inc. (graduation event with prior approval from the Exchange Operations Manager)
  • Memorials for current or former Civil Servant or Starport Partner employees 
  • Other NASA business events that are approved by the Center Director may be considered by the Starport Operations Manager 

100% Fee Category

  • Other federal agencies  
  • Professional organizations  
  • Unofficial employee sponsored or personal events 
  • Unofficial external/public events conducted during excess capacity hours   

Please note the Gilruth Center is a multi-use facility. We will accommodate requests to the best of our ability; however, we reserve the right to modify original reservation requests. The Guest Relations Lead will consult with the renter if modifications are needed.   



  • 15% of the total reservation fee must be paid within two business days once confirmation of reservation has been issued. A permit will be emailed for proof of rental confirmation. Reservations subject to cancellation if deposit is not received.


  • All remaining rental fees are due 14 calendar days prior to the event date.

Allotted time overage fees

  • Events that do not end at their scheduled completion time shall be subject to additional charges.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be submitted to

If the booking is canceled by the rental party:

  • 14 calendar days or more prior to reservation date – NASA Exchange-JSC will issue a full refund minus processing fees.
  • 7 to 13 calendar days prior to reservation date – NASA Exchange-JSC will issue 50% refund of the full rental cost minus the deposit.
  • 7 days or less prior to reservation date – will not issue any refunds.

A full refund will be issued if the NASA Exchange-JSC has to cancel your reservation due to official NASA-related programs or events. This will only occur if no other reasonable alternative exists, as determined by management.

If your contract is not fulfilled due to NASA Exchange-JSC or disaster (both natural or otherwise), Acts of God, or military deployment, all payments will be refunded or reapplied.

Outdoor and Pavilion Use

Inclement weather may force the cancellation of outdoor events and/or pavilion use. Precautions of temporary shelters, the curtailment of certain activities or other rain alternatives should be considered during the planning process. NASA Exchange-JSC Management cannot guarantee an inside room should inclement weather arrive. If you would like to reserve a back-up space/room, an additional fee will be required. NASA Exchange-JSC Management has the right to alter pavilion or outdoor events due to weather if activities will in any way be unsafe or damage the facilities or premises.

Food and Beverages


  • In order to provide flexibility and variety, NASA Exchange-JSC will provide interested renters with a list of approved caterers. Approved caterers used are responsible for providing all necessary napkins, plates, utensils, servers, tablecloths, etc.  NASA Exchange-JSC Management reserves the right to assess a clean-up charge should any room not be cleaned to our standards.
  • Any licensed caterer that provides proof of insurance and signs an agreement to abide by the operating conditions set by the NASA Exchange-JSC can be added to the Approved Caterers List as long as all paperwork is signed by both parties and submitted 30 days before the first scheduled catering event.
  • Guests are also permitted to bring their own food and beverages to any reservation at Gilruth; however, due to fire safety requirements, the type of food and/or beverage must be communicated to the Guest Relations Lead within one week prior to the reservation. 

Serving of Alcohol

  • Minors will not be served under any circumstances. As of September 1, 1986, the legal drinking age in the State of Texas is 21. In accordance with TABC law, we reserve the right to ask anyone to show their photo ID issued, by a government agency before being served alcohol. For any event (inside or outside) held at the NASA Exchange-JSC where alcohol is consumed, the TABC-certified staff member assumes the responsibility of ensuring that no minors or intoxicated person(s) are served, and that no alcoholic product leaves the property.
  • Only beer and wine are permitted on NASA property. Hard alcohol and additional liquor is prohibited.
  • For events and groups less than 50 individuals, a TABC licensed server is not required but encouraged.
  • For events and groups greater than 50 individuals, a TABC licensed server is required. If a TABC licensed server is required, NASA Exchange-JSC may be able to provide one at the posted charge. However, if NASA Exchange-JSC is unable to secure a server, the guest will be required to provide a server. The TABC server that is planned to be used by the guest MUST provide a copy of their TABC certification at least 3 days prior to the guest’s reservation.
  • The rental party will be responsible for designating a host who will be in attendance and accepts full responsibility for the group to meet the following requirements:
    • Beer and wine will only be consumed in the area designated for the event.
    • Glass containers are not permitted on the sports fields.
    • Beer and wine service will be discontinued at least 30 minutes before the scheduled conclusion of the event.
    • Intoxicated persons shall not be served or be allowed to remain on the premises.
    • Consumption will be responsible and moderate. In the event someone does over-consume, the host will arrange transportation to take the individual home.
    • Amount of beer and wine shall commensurate with the number of attendees.Food and non-alcoholic beverages must also be provided.
    • In the event a host becomes unable to control the behavior or safety of the group, he/she will call JSC Security 281-483-3333 for assistance.
    • NASA Exchange-JSC Management is responsible for enforcing this policy and is authorized to review each request on a case-by-case basis taking into account factors such as concurrently scheduled events, history of the group, and TABC established restrictions.


The rental party must provide the NASA Exchange-JSC a written list of all vendors for scheduled events. This includes anyone who may be delivering, setting up, or tearing down any items or equipment for your event (e.g. – DJs, bands, moon walks, face painters, petting zoo, etc.). The vendor list, with phone numbers and vendor contact names, is due at least 7 business days prior to the scheduled event. Rental Parties utilizing outside vendors are required to provide the vendor’s Certificate of Liability Insurance and a signed Hold Harmless Agreement at least 7 business days prior the scheduled event. Without these documents, the vendor will not be authorized access to the NASA Exchange-JSC property. NASA Exchange-JSC management may ban any vendor from the facility at its own discretion.

Décor and Signage

Plans for all decorations, including floral arrangements and table centerpieces, must be submitted and approved in advance. Open flame candles are NOT permitted. Decorations must not necessitate the moving of any fixed or large assets in the facility. Hanging large signs or decorations in the inside or the outside of the facility is not permitted without prior approval. Hanging of signs on furniture and walls is NOT permitted.

If signs are approved, they must be displayed on easels or adhered to doors, walls or furniture with blue painter’s tape only. The use of double back tape, staples, nails, or any other adherence material is strictly prohibited.


Management reserves the right to review and approve all entertainment for any scheduled event.


All deliveries must be coordinated through the NASA Exchange-JSC. All delivery vendors must check in with the NASA Exchange-JSC front desk staff prior to unloading. NASA Exchange-JSC staff have full authority to make corrective changes and oversee the supervision of deliveries, setup, production, catering, tear down and clean-up of an event. All catering, floral arrangements, decorations and other materials brought in by the client, or any vendor of the client, may not be stored or set-up in any unreserved area of the NASA Exchange-JSC.


All break-down and cleanup must occur immediately following the scheduled event. All rental and decorating items must be removed immediately after the event unless special arrangements are approved in advance by the Guest Relations Lead. NASA Exchange-JSC does not assume any responsibility for items left by the rental party or their vendors.

Management reserves the right to assess a clean-up fee for any event if the rental area is not left in the original condition.


Minors under the age of 16 must be under the immediate supervision of an adult at all times. There must be an appropriate number of chaperons for the number of minors who are using the facility. NASA Exchange-JSC staff members cannot monitor minors during an event. NASA Exchange-JSC staff are not responsible for any childcare supervision.


The interior of the NASA Exchange-JSC facility is designated as non-smoking. Smoking is not permitted within 25 feet of doorways, entries, operable windows, and outdoor air intake ducts.

Safety and Appropriate Use

  • No animals are allowed on NASA property, except those trained to assist disabled individuals (exception includes events where a petting zoo is part of the activities and is subject to the Vendor requirements below).
  • No group or individual may use the facility for events that are a threat to the safety of the clients or property.
  • NASA Exchange-JSC Management reserves the right to determine if specific usage of the NASA Exchange-JSC property is appropriate.
  • The following types of events/reservations are NOT permitted:
    • Events sponsored or conducted by any organization, individual, or activity practicing or advocating discrimination based on race, religion, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, or national origin.
    • Events having a partisan political, sectarian, or similar nature of purpose.
    • Events for the purpose of advocating or influencing action on legislation.
    • Events conducted for any type of commercial profit or individual profit (for example – direct or indirect sale of products or services, charging of admission fees, or the making of an indirect assessment for admission, or the taking of a collection) must be approved by the NASA Exchange-JSC.