Visit the Regions Bank....
Visit the Regions Bank. Overlooking what is called the Big Spring, it was built in 1835, and is to be found on the Register of Historic Places. It is an architecurally beautiful building, probably one of the best in Huntsville.
The Big Spring that it overlooks was used (prob. a hundrd years ago) as a mode of getting things from and to Huntsville. Looking at the size, it seems kind of difficult as to how it was managed (Maybe the people were smaller back then :-)!!)
Huntsville, Alabama is home to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Marshall is the hardware fabrication center for NASA. In the past, this was the place where rockets destined to take men to the moon were designed, built, and tested. Today it's the place to go to see U.S. sections of the International Space Station being built.
The Marshall Center has created many different rockets and space hardware and you can see it all at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. The Rocket Garden at Kennedy Space Center in Florida is impressive but this is breathtaking. Here you can get up close to the rockets and hardware that have both put Americans in space and helped to protect our nation.
Pictured here is the only Saturn 5 'stack' (assembled upright) to be seen in the world. The people you see in the foreground do not give an accurate impression of the true size of the Saturn 5. Standing next to this huge rocket you wonder how it ever got off the ground. Still amazes me.
Visit the web page for the Space & Rocket Center at :
US Space & Rocket Center
One Tranquility Base
Huntsville Al 35805
Phone Number: 800-637-7223
NOTE! The price for tickets varies depending on what you want to see and do. Check the Centers web page or call them to get details.
NOTE! (09-20-2007) The bus tour of Marshall Center that was a part of the Rocket Center package is no longer offered. A shame since you can no longer see the sites of early rocket development. The picture of the engine test bunker is one of those sites. I have more photos that I will scan and post. No reason was given for dropping the tour but I would guess it's because of security.
The web site for Marshall Space Flight Center is :
Marshall Space Flight Center
Building 4200, Room 120
MSFC, Huntsville, Alabama 35812
Our space program is going to see some major changes in the near future and I encourage readers to visit the Marshall Center site for information on future efforts by NASA to expand the exploration of space.
I'm just a space and rocket nut. One of these days, I'll get my broken scanner replaced and upload more pictures.
"Were America's manned rocket program began."
It's hard to believe but the U.S. started it's space program from junk. Really! What you see here is the control center for rocket engine tests. If it looks like three old railroad tank cars lined up and cover with dirt, your right. Money was so tight in the beginning, engineers had to use whatever they could find to construct test stands and control bunkers. Forget $500 hammers. Often a trip to the local hardware provided needed tools and parts.
"The Real Right Stuff"
Brave. Fearless. Insane. What traits did a man have to have to willingly ride one of these early rockets? This is an Atlas rocket. It blew up more often then it flew. Something odd about this display in the Rocket Park is the air compressor connected to the rocket. Why does it have to have the air compressor? The Atlas structure was so weak (got to save weight somehow) that it would collapse under it's own weight if the fuel tanks were not kept pressurized. John Glenn was the first man to ride atop the Atlas. He knew that riding the Atlas was more than just dangerous. It was a good bet that he would be blown to bits on launch. He also knew that it was the only rocket that we had that could get an American into orbit. That mission was all important at the time.
The red spot on the photo is a camera boo-boo.