U.S. Space and Rocket Center, courtesy Huntsville/Madison Co. CVB
When it comes to space exploration, Huntsville passes the Google test: If you Google “The Rocket City,” you’ll get Huntsville. When you consider America’s accomplishments during the past 60-odd years since Wernher von Braun arrived there from Germany a few years after World War II, it’s indisputable that Huntsville has been the world’s epicenter for space exploration.
Von Braun himself chose the city for his and his colleagues’ work. Huntsville already had a sizable military complex in the Redstone Arsenal, and many of the country’s best minds began a migration there that continues to this day. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center was created in 1960.
The U.S. Space and Rocket Center was created by the state of Alabama and opened in 1970 to showcase America’s space flight programs. An affiliate of the Smithsonian, the center depicts all of our most iconic achievements in space: early missions that orbited the Earth, later moon missions, the space shuttle flights and, most recently, the work at the International Space Station.
Space Camp has also operated there since 1982, offering thousands of children the opportunity to spend a week learning about space and the aerospace industry.
I toured the facility with Williams and one of the center’s sales staff, Adrienne Stephens, where we had a firsthand look at the venue that Select Traveler 2014 delegates will enjoy on opening night. Huntsville and its partners have planned an opening evening where attendees will be seated in the huge Saturn Hall, beneath the Saturn V rocket.
Delegates will have access to all the displays in the room, among them a lunar excursion module, the Apollo 16 capsule and several other capsules that illustrate just how courageous those astronauts were when leading our exploration of space.
For more information about the Select Traveler Conference, click here.