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U.S. Space and Rocket Center

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The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is recognized as one of the most comprehensive U.S. manned space flight hardware museums in the world. Our facilities include Spacedome Theater, Rocket Park, the Education Training Center, which houses NASA's Educator Resource Center, and more.

Visitors to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center will experience Huntsville's role in the making of the moon rocket, the space race, the Apollo missions, learn about the Space Shuttle program, the International Space Station and NASA's future missions. Visitors may trace the evolution of humankind's ventures into space and watch as tomorrow's potential engineers, scientists and astronauts train in one of the Space Camp or Aviation Challenge Programs.

Von Braun was director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville when he approached the Alabama Legislature with the idea of creating a museum jointly with the U.S. Army Missile Command and NASA. After Alabama lawmakers and its citizens voted in 1968 to finance construction, the U.S. Army donated land on its Redstone Arsenal, which is also the site of the sprawling NASA center.

Von Braun called the Space & Rocket Center, "the finest of its kind in the world" and continued to be a firm supporter even after leaving Huntsville for a high-level NASA position in Washington. Throughout his career, he was a leading exponent of space exploration and is credited with having popularized the concept with magazine articles as early as 1952.

His vast collection of papers, from grade school report cards to private notes and correspondence, is housed in the museum and has been catalogued for use by researchers and scholars.

Huntsville, meanwhile, added tribute to the German- born space pioneer by naming its civic center in his honor.

Since opening its doors in 1970, almost 16 million people have toured the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. The vast majority of those visitors have been from out of state or from foreign nations. Many of the more than 400,000 people who visit annually are school students on field trips to their future. The Space Center houses hundreds of pieces of rocket and space hardware valued in the tens of millions of dollars. Dozens of active exhibits involve visitor participation, prompting one official to note: "Here, everyone can be an astronaut for the day."

The museum, which achieved Smithsonian Institution Affiliate status in 2002, serves as a major repository for the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, having some 300 major artifacts on loan.

The space museum is also the visitor's information center for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Mon9:00 AM5:00 PM
Tue9:00 AM5:00 PM
Wed9:00 AM5:00 PM
Thr9:00 AM5:00 PM
Fri9:00 AM5:00 PM
Sat9:00 AM5:00 PM
Sun9:00 AM5:00 PM
Notes: Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.


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