Ah, the Space and Rocket Center: the quintessential Huntsville attraction. It’s practically a requirement that I bring people here when they visit Huntsville, even if the only things I go for are my rocket and the Space Shot. But there are more wonderful things this museum has to offer, and I will fill you in on all of those below:
Welcome to Rocket City!
Here in the Rocket City, we don’t have a skyline, we have a spaceline. I’ve even got the t-shirt that says it.
So how did this small, quiet town jump from being a cotton mill town to the watercress capitol of the world to being the Rocket City? The Germans! Specifically, Wernher von Braun and his team. In 1941, the southwest area of the city was designated by the US Army to be Redstone Arsenal, and after WWII the site was selected for the army’s rocket and missile development. In 1950, von Braun and his team of scientists and engineers developed the Redstone Rocket, setting the stage for America’s space program.
Huntsville really took off from there. Following that came Explorer 1, the Marshall Space Flight Center, the Apollo Lunar Landing Program and the Saturn rockets. The Saturn V rocket is affectionately referred to on this blog as “my rocket”.
The Space & Rocket Center
Space & Rocket Center has one of the most extensive collections of space artifacts and displays including rockets, engines, spacecraft, and simulators. The main building houses some changing exhibits, an indoor rock climbing wall, and a Redstone Arsenal exhibit. The changing exhibits this time around were on patented inventions, hands-on science displays, and space jewelry. The main building also features an IMAX dome theater.
Outside is the Rocket Park, the Space Shuttle, the G-Force and Space Shot rides, and the Saturn V rocket. The Space & Rocket Center is also home to Space Camp.
Inside the Davidson Center building are the suspended Saturn V segments separated into the rocket’s stages with the engines exposed. This exhibit hall features more hands-on activities and simulators.
Have you been to the Space & Rocket Center? Tell me about it in the comments!