If you’ve ever driven through Huntsville, AL, You have almost certainly seen this rocket or the Saturn V mockup, while driving along US 72. This Saturn I rocket was brought to the museum from the Marshall Space Flight Center in 1969 along with a real Saturn V that is inside the museum. You’ll also find the first American satellite “Explorer 1”. There are also mockups of various types for the Artemis missions. If you don’t follow NASA very closely, you will be hearing alot about the Artemis Program over the next few years. If you haven’t heard, We are going back to the moon! I posted the youtube live feed at the bottom of this article. You may get lucky and catch a rocket launch while you read this.
Saturn V Rocket
The Saturn V rocket was assembled first and then the museum was built around it. In 1999 an exact replica of a Saturn V was assembled upright outside of the museum, on the 30th anniversary of the first moon landing. It can be seen for miles at 363 feet tall. To appreciate the sheer size of these rockets, you need to go inside and walk under the horizontally mounted Saturn V.
Pathfinder made its way to the museum in 1988, where it was mounted on top of a test rocket booster. Originally dubbed Orbiter. It was built in 1977 at the Marshall Space Flight Center and moved to Kennedy Space Center in 1977. It was used for testing and renamed Pathfinder.
International Space Station
An International Space Station mockup is also onsite, complete with scale models of some of the modules that were used to design the actual space station. You can also operate robotic arms. While roaming through the modules I was a kid in a candy store. So much so, that I forgot to take pictures. My girlfriend snapped this photo.
There are many other things available to do such as private tours, underwater astronaut training, flight simulators and much more. I loved the planetarium, it is a must see. You can even take a VR trip on Apollo 11. Visit the Rocket Center’s website for more information. And the next time you find yourself in northern Alabama, you should definitely check out the museum. If you are a space nerd, you should make the trip regardless.