Set course for Huntsville, Alabama, and visit one of the foremost leaders in the U.S. space program
As the Official Visitor Center for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is dedicated to making dreams a reality for visitors of all ages. There are exhibit galleries, flight simulators, field trip and summer camp offerings, and special events that make the center a bustling hive of activity year-round. Whether you’re planning for a group large or small, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is ready to welcome you with open arms as you prepare to let curiosity take off.
When entering the impressive venue that is the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s Davidson Center for Space Exploration, it’s difficult not to feel a sense of awe. So many famous rockets and artifacts reside here, including the Saturn V moon rocket (one of only three remaining on the planet), the Apollo 6 capsule, an authentic moon rock and other artifacts. Shuttle Park houses the Pathfinder Space Shuttle, the only full-stack shuttle display in the world. Nowhere else can visitors get this close to such important artifacts from the U.S. space program.
Create. Engineer. Explore.
Some of the larger artifacts may be just for viewing pleasure, but there are plenty of opportunities for hands-on exploration at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Check out Smithsonian’s Spark!Lab, an interactive experience where anyone can step into the role of a NASA engineer and work on design challenges that require critical thinking and problem solving. Help design a new machine to clean up the ocean floor or engineer a new space capsule.
In February 2019, the center will welcome a new permanent exhibit called Apollo: When We Went to the Moon. The exhibit will examine the Space Race, the period when the United States and Soviet Union competed for the biggest and best accomplishments in space exploration. For anyone with an interest in space, this is sure to be a must-see exhibit.
For those searching for that extra adrenaline rush, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is ready to deliver. The Moon Shot shoots riders 140 feet into the air in just 2.5 seconds – that makes for 4 Gs of force and two to three seconds of weightlessness. The G Force Accelerator lets riders train like astronauts and experience 3 Gs of force while pushing against centrifugal force. Finally, the Hyper Ship is an HD motion-based simulator that combines incredible audiovisual displays with the motion of the ship’s compartment as riders soar through space.
Marshall Space Flight Center Bus Tours
Get a closer look at the inner-workings of NASA with a bus tour of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). Hop aboard the bus, (advance tickets required; $20), for a 2½-hour adventure deep into the heart of MSFC facilities, including the Historic Test Stands and the Propulsion Research and Development Laboratory. Sit back, relax and learn all about this one-of-a-kind facility that has shaped space exploration.
Space Camp Challenge Course
Perfect for groups looking to get their feet off the ground, the Space Camp Challenge Course combines both personal and team development for a thrilling and fun experience to top off a visit to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. On the low ropes, teams work together on a mission involving brainstorming, making plans, delegating tasks, communicating effectively and trust. Once these skills come together effectively, the group succeeds. On the high ropes course, everyone can choose their level of difficulty and practice stepping outside their comfort zone for a thrilling challenge. Climb the 50-foot wall, scale a 32-foot pole and fly down the blood-pumping zip line. These experiences are not only fun but also ideal ways to build confidence, trust and communication skills.
Dine Among the Stars
Guests can’t help but work up an appetite during a day of exploration, and thankfully the Mars Grill is on hand to serve up a variety of options including hamburgers, noodle bowls and chicken tenders. It’s a great place to kick back and relax against a backdrop of some truly impressive rockets.
Huntsville Welcomes Your Group
Huntsville has embraced the U.S. space program from the very beginning. For those with a keen interest in space and history, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is sure to be an out-of-this-world experience.