Sunday, November 27, 2022

U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Huntsville, Alabama has been known as The Rocket City since the early 1960s when NASA established the Marshall Space Flight Center at Redstone Arsenal, south of the city.  German rocket expert Wernher von Braun, NASA's first director, had been developing missiles for the Nazis during WWII but surrendered to US forces in 1945 and was brought to Fort Bliss,Texas where he worked training Americans in rocket science. In 1950 he was transferred to Redstone Arsenal to work on guided missiles then in 1957, after the Soviet Sputnik I made it into the Earth's orbit, to develop methods of launching satellites into space.
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center was a pet project of von Braun who wanted to share his love of rocketry while also educating and drawing tourists to Huntsville. The center covers the history of the space program with detailed displays featuring rockets. training modules, and space memorabilia. The newest exhibit gallery has information about the Artemis program and the experiments being conducted to make space travel past the distance of resupply missions possible. An authentic Saturn V rocket is located in the main gallery. Displays outside are lackluster - mainly old army equipment. Space Shuttle Park was closed for refurbishment when we visited. Tickets are pricey. Our  ASTC Passport covered general admission however there are at least four activities and four movies that require additional purchases. We did not do any of the extra activity or movies.
The center is accessible with a long uphill walk from the parking lot to the entrance. The extra activities such as flight simulators are not accessible. The Airstream trailer, used to quarantine the astronauts after the Apollo 11, 12, and 14 missions due to fear of unknown lunar micro-organisms, is not accessible. The supplied map is essential for finding your way around.
RVs will fit in the lot if parked across the spaces.  Center  34.7119, -86.65238

 

4 comments:

  1. My brother was stationed at Redstone, met his wife there.

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    1. That's cool. We didn't realize much of our space explorations started there.

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  2. We've never done the Huntsville Space Center, but we've been to the Stennis Space Center in lower Mississippi. It was fascinating. I guess Huntsville is, too. Did you enjoy it?

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    1. Yes, it was a good museum. We have passed by the parking lot for the bus tour to Space Center but never stopped. Gotta do that someday.

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