A day that was forecast to be rainy turned out to be sunny & warm! A great day to visit the Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville. We arrive about 10:00 am (leaving at 4:30 pm!!) and before even going inside we visited the ‘Miss Baker‘ Memorial (she was one of the first animals in space in 1959) just outside the front doors and also an A-12 Blackbird – a spy plane developed for the CIA that was in service from 1963 – 1968. I could fly from Washington DC to Los Angles in 64 minutes!! Wow!
There was a large exhibit centered around Wernher von Braun, a German born rocket scientist who along with his brother surrendered to the Americans in 1945. He brought along with him 117 scientists and is considered to be one of the leading figures in rocket technology. The exhibit was very interesting!
There are several different Space Camps that take place in the USSRC (US Space & Rocket Center), all of which seem to begin on Sunday and end on Friday. We were surrounded most of the day by Space Camp graduates and their parents.
The USSRC is a very hands on place which was fun! We were like little kids trying out everything we could!
There are a couple of ‘rides’ outside that Michael tried out (I’m get motion sick to easily). First he went on the G-Force simulator which is similar to a carnival ride, The Round up. Then he went on the Space Shot. He enjoyed both…and I enjoyed both from the ground!
It was pretty warm and thankfully they had some conveniently placed ‘misters’ under one of the display rockets…we stopped by often!
We chatted with ‘Skeet’ Vaughn for quite a while. He’s a volunteer at the USSRC but worked for NASA for 39 years in several different capacities and also met von Braun several different times. He had nothing but good things to say about von Braun and even told us a story about him autographing a book for him. We figure he was about 83 years old. He retired in 1999 and he said he never had a job…what he did was too fun to be work! He was a wealth of knowledge and one of the best parts of the whole day!
‘Skeet’ worked in the Davidson Center, which houses a replica of the Saturn V along with other artifacts and replicas.
By the time we finished touring we were both pretty tired! Talk about tired feet! We got home shortly after 5:00 pm, had dinner about 6:30, Skyped with our 7 month old grandson, watched a few TV shows on the dvr and then headed for bed!