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Author Topic:   Visiting the U.S. Space & Rocket Center
garymilgrom
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posted 05-04-2009 08:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I spent two days at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville last week. It's a great place for kids and a fun place for adults too. Some photos here.

Linda K
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posted 05-04-2009 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Linda K   Click Here to Email Linda K     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree - a great place to visit. I was there with a group of eight JROTC cadets on Saturday, April 25th. We had gone to Huntsville to be a part of the Honor Flight sending 125 WWII vets to Washington, D.C. for the day, and took the cadets to the Space Center in between the departure and return. Will hopefully get pics posted this coming weekend.

HelmetHair
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posted 08-03-2009 09:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HelmetHair   Click Here to Email HelmetHair     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At short notice, I'm heading to Alabama on Friday/Saturday and will be spending my time looking at large rocket shaped, erm, rockets.

Can someone who's been suggest a time I should allow for this? I do intend to view everything on display, but not to sit staring at any one item for hours.

Also, is there a Saturn stage nearby, but not at, Huntsville? I'll check the 'net to be sure of its location, unless someone can post up the town/location?

SpaceAholic
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posted 08-03-2009 10:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a Saturn IB on I-65 just south of the Tenn/Alabama border at a rest stop in Elkmont, Alabama.

AFGAS
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posted 08-04-2009 03:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFGAS   Click Here to Email AFGAS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
See more about the I-65 Saturn I here.

garymilgrom
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posted 08-04-2009 06:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I took two days to see everything, including the movies. If you're just looking at rockets I'd allow a day - half will be spent inside the Davidson Center viewing the horizontal Saturn V, and the rest will be spent viewing the upright version and the rest of the rockets, LM trainer etc. outside. It'll be hot and there's some walking involved so allow time for that, water etc.

One of the most enjoyable part of my visit was the view of the rockets from my hotel room. Go here for photo and if staying at the Marriott try for one of these rooms with a balcony overlooking the USSRC grounds.

GACspaceguy
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posted 08-04-2009 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The rocket side of the hotel is a must. That is where we took this photo last year.

HelmetHair
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posted 08-04-2009 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HelmetHair   Click Here to Email HelmetHair     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many thanks for your replies-I'll be sure to head a bit further up to TN for the Saturn booster too.

tncmaxq
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posted 08-04-2009 11:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tncmaxq   Click Here to Email tncmaxq     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This Friday is a luncheon with Hoot Gibson at USSRC if you can still get a ticket. I had considered making the trip mostly to see the new Saturn 5 center, since it had not yet been built when I was last there in 2005. Perhaps you can make that part of your visit.

Seeing that vertical Saturn 5 was great. It gave me a feeling of what it must have been like to see one of the real ones at KSC decades ago. I was glad I also made the drive up to the TN border to see the Saturn 1B. It was in a bit of disrepair but still was very impressive.

sts205cdr
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posted 08-04-2009 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sts205cdr   Click Here to Email sts205cdr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The view from the hotel made me tingle all night my first time at Space Camp, and still does every time I go back. But one time I stayed on the other side and was delighted to watch the younger kids launch model rockets at Hickam Field...

I'm getting homesick for Space Camp!

GACspaceguy
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posted 08-04-2009 02:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Saturn 1B at the visitor center has been cleaned up as this photo taken in May shows. Well worth the visit.

HelmetHair
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posted 08-10-2009 12:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HelmetHair   Click Here to Email HelmetHair     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, that was a superb visit!

The Saturn V exhibits were fascinating, and you get a real sense of the hard work and dedication of those involved. I took several pictures of the Saturn V, and am going to try and stitch them together. If I get a decent result (and I may not) I'll post it.

It took me a day starting at 9am, although I only watched one film - Magnificent Desolation - excellent on IMAX.

The rest stop with the other Saturn booster is 33 miles from the USSRC.

If you look hard, you can find a picture of a certain Robert Pearlman near the museum/cafeteria entrances!

On edit: Oh yes, and while I was there I noticed a WSS on display. The name tag was covered up, but the cover was peeling off. The name on it was... Lousma (Well, LOU visible, definitely a U, not a V. Is this a new sighting of a flown suit, or old news?

Mr Meek
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posted 08-10-2009 04:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Meek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. The USSRC is a great museum.

quote:
Originally posted by HelmetHair:
Oh yes, and while I was there I noticed a WSS on display.

Where was this suit located? If it was upstairs in the shuttle exhibit, I believe it's a Lovell A6L trainer. I've got a picture of the suit with most of the label peeled off.

HelmetHair
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posted 08-11-2009 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HelmetHair   Click Here to Email HelmetHair     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The WSS is indeed in the shuttle section upstairs in the museum.

It is definitely a "U". I first read it as a V, probably because Lovell is better known to me than Lousma, but I couldn't think of the STS connection, then a closer look confirmed it to be a "U".

I tried to photograph it, but couldn't get a good shot showing that, but it IS a "U".

Mr Meek
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posted 08-11-2009 12:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Meek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmm, it looks very much like a "V" in the picture I have. However, that may be due to a ripple in the fabric and the angle at which I had to take the picture. I know it's been moved around a little since I last saw it, so it may very well be clearly a "U".

At any rate, it's almost certainly a trainer and not flown.

ScottJ
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posted 08-14-2009 10:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ScottJ   Click Here to Email ScottJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The suit is definitely a Lousma suit. I've helped place the white tape back over the Lousma name before and have photos of the ILC label in the suit with Lousam listed as the size.

As most of you are aware, there are few, if any, shuttle suits available for display. As a result, the museum had to make do with a late Apollo/Skylab era suit in their shuttle display area. The Lousma name is covered over simply to make the suit more "believable" as a shuttle era suit.

Atlantis
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posted 08-22-2009 11:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Atlantis   Click Here to Email Atlantis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've seen these two items on the "back 40" at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for years and was wondering if anyone could identify them for me?

SpaceAholic
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posted 08-22-2009 11:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like some Saturn skirt and interstage assemblies...

AFGAS
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posted 08-24-2009 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFGAS   Click Here to Email AFGAS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's what they are. Used to be part of the line for the G-force experience. Trying to get numbers off of them, but so far, no luck.

ChaplainTG
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posted 08-25-2009 11:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ChaplainTG   Click Here to Email ChaplainTG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I use to work at the US Space and Rocket Center years ago for quite a while (1975-1986). Those two items once formed the Lunar Odyssey ride that sat where the G-Force now sits. There was an unfortunate accident back in 1985 where a floor guide was killed on this ride while the then 10 Teacher in Space finalists were onboard riding. Not many years later the ride was torn down and replaced with the G-Force. These are old test articles for the interstage areas from a Saturn. All the years I worked there I never saw any identifying marks on any of the items though. Hope that helps! If you would like to know any other interesting facts about the Space Center just ask.

Atlantis
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posted 08-25-2009 07:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Atlantis   Click Here to Email Atlantis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks! I guess the rest of the conical section was removed for the Valle Marinaris expedition thing that isn't used anymore.

Mr Meek
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posted 08-25-2009 08:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Meek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Atlantis:
I guess the rest of the conical section was removed for the Valle Marinaris expedition thing that isn't used anymore.

Actually, I believe those are the S-II and S-IVB interstages that could belong to SA-500-D. They've got the requisite brackets and the S-IVB interstage has fairings for retrorockets. Whether or not they were stacked as part of the dynamic test, I don't know.

As for the other pieces, there are only a handful of stages that these could be from. However, I have yet to find any firm information as to what the origin(s) of these pieces are.

James Brown
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posted 03-04-2010 08:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A few of us are headed to Huntsville this Saturday for a day visit to the Space and Rocket Center. Me, Joel Katzowitz, Gilbert Huey, and Gary Milgrom. Anyone interested in joining us? We should be arriving around 8:30 a.m. and plan on having BBQ for dinner later in the day.

Also, can anyone recommend anything else in the area that we should see or do while we're there that's space related? Hope some of you can join us.

Editor's note: Threads merged

mikej
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posted 03-04-2010 08:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The various parts of the Konrad Dannenberg collection is on display at the Salmon Library at the University of Alabama, Huntsville.

I'm pretty sure it's in a different building at UAH (I forget which one, exactly), but part of von Braun's collection is also available; one of the hallway has a number of large panels detailing von Braun's career.

The von Braun Astronomical Society has a planetarium in Monte Sano State Park. Someone (not affiliated with the Society) told me that the planetarium's dome came from a disused S-IVB tank.

The park itself has a number of observation areas giving beautiful views of the surrounding area. And driving up and down Monte Sano will take you past the homes (and former homes) of many members, both German and American, of the rocket team. I understand that there was an idea to mark the homes and provide some sort of tour map, but the idea was abandoned out of privacy concerns for the current homeowners.

Gilbert
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posted 03-07-2010 11:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We had a great time at the museum, and thanks to Shuttleman Scott for an informative and entertaining show & tell lunch at Greenbrier BBQ. The new Saturn V center is awesome!

James Brown
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posted 03-07-2010 02:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was a fun trip. Good to see my buds. Enjoyed meeting Scott and hearing his stories. The museum sure has changed since the last time I was there.

Joel Katzowitz
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posted 03-08-2010 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was great spending time with the group and Scott joining us for lunch was an added treat.

I haven't been to the museum in maybe 12 years and while the Saturn V center was great, the rest of the museum looked a bit shabby. There were many artifacts on display without their support panels to describe the piece and it's relevance or history. I guess it's a funding issue, which I can understand, but it's still sad.

Shuttleman
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posted 03-09-2010 04:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Shuttleman   Click Here to Email Shuttleman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I want to thank Gary Milgrom for setting up the visit in Huntsville and thanks to Gilbert, Jimmy and Joel for their kindness and encouragement for my future book endeavor. I'm already looking forward to their next visit... lets keep the dream alive through our collections and experiences.

James Brown
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posted 03-09-2010 07:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some pics from Huntsville.

blue_eyes
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posted 03-10-2010 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for blue_eyes   Click Here to Email blue_eyes     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great photos, Jimmy! Very artistic.

Gilbert
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posted 03-12-2010 04:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jimmy, your photos make me feel like I was there. Oh wait, I was. Great shots as usual.

Atlantis
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posted 04-01-2010 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Atlantis   Click Here to Email Atlantis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mikej:
I'm pretty sure it's in a different building at UAH (I forget which one, exactly), but part of von Braun's collection is also available; one of the hallway has a number of large panels detailing von Braun's career.
That's over at the Von Braun Research Hall. One of the clubs I'm in meets there every Tuesday and Thursday, and go over on a pretty regular basis and peruse the display.

Atlantis
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posted 04-07-2010 10:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Atlantis   Click Here to Email Atlantis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also, the LC-34 white room is currently undergoing restoration for display at the Davidson Center [via Space Camp on Facebook].

dfox
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posted 08-23-2010 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dfox   Click Here to Email dfox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Next weekend I will be attending the Parent/Child weekend program at Space Camp. This will be our first time there.

I was wondering if anyone might have tips/advice for how to get the best experience out of the weekend.

Also, we will be going up a day early and will have an afternoon to see the sights. What would be a good activity for a free afternoon/evening in Huntsville?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

collocation
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posted 08-23-2010 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for collocation   Click Here to Email collocation     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I used to go to Huntsville on business frequently and a good tour, if it is still available, is the Redstone Arsenal. The tour was by bus and our tour guide was a former employee back in the day.

sts205cdr
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posted 08-23-2010 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sts205cdr   Click Here to Email sts205cdr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We go to the Huntsville Botanical Garden during our 8-day Camp to take a break from training. It's absolutely beautiful.

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