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“Worth a visit”

U.S. Space and Rocket Center
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USD 25.00*
and up
US Space and Rocket Center Admission
Ranked #5 of 79 things to do in Huntsville
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Owner description: Home to Space Camp, Aviation Challenge and NASA's Official Visitor Information Center for Marshall Space Flight Center; The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is recognized as one of the most comprehensive U.S. manned space flight hardware museums in the world.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Stairs / lift
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

My wife, teen daughter and exchange student from Thailand visited on April 1. The last time I visited the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville was 40 years ago when I was 10 years old, so I was excited to see it again.

First, the center is a good value, especially because the IMAX film is included. The domed theater is wonderful. I was a little disappointed in the film we selected, “Beautiful Planet” so I would recommend choosing a different option.

The walk through exhibit of the space station is interesting. The Apollo and Saturn Rockets outside are well worth seeing. They also have a couple of free rides outside. These are basically carnival style rides that are themed on space travel but the teens enjoyed them.

The Saturn V facility is where the best exhibits are. These include the Apollo 16 command module and the trailer used to quarantine the Apollo 12 astronauts after their return. If you have visited NASA’s Saturn V facility, this will seem very similar.

The biggest disappointment was that the Space and Rocket Center does not do a great job of building context and importance around their displays. For example before going into the Saturn V display at NASA you see a video that builds the excitement by placing the things you will see in historical contest. That is lacking here. To show what a difference that lack of context makes, our exchange student said “It’s just a rock.” My advice would be that if you are bringing teens you talk to them about the space race and the moon missions, even watch some of the historic news programs from that period so that they can truly understand how important the artifacts they will see really are

2  Thank burghughes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

I highly recommend arriving at opening and planning to spend the entire day. They have a nice grill for lunch or take a picnic. There is no barge for parking. We purchased a ticket that included a 3D movie about the history and future of space travel and we really enjoyed it. There are too many things to see to write about! I recommend making this visit more than once as a family.

Thank deborah r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

I love museums especially flight museums but I was very underwhelmed. If you have children there looked like there was plenty to do. I saw rock climbing, rides and lots of interactive exhibits. I just feel this is not a place for adults. Mainly geared for children.

Thank vlvik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USSRC, Manager at U.S. Space and Rocket Center, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2018

Thank you so much for visiting and for your review. We hope you had a chance to make it to the Davidson Center for Space Exploration, which houses our major space exhibits and artifacts. We will pass your feedback along to our museum management team.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

Great place to spend a day with your kids. There's quite a bit to do, checking out the space shuttle replica, rockets, airplanes, and helicopters. The indoor experiences are good and easy to navigate. The highlight for our family was the Saturn V building with the full size replica of the moon rocket. It was cool to learn the story of how Huntsville became rocket city and was so integral to winning the race to the moon.

Thank ekkerb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USSRC, Manager at U.S. Space and Rocket Center, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2018

Thank you so much for visiting us! We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the museum, especially the Saturn V Hall! Visit us again soon.

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Reviewed 3 April 2018

We love all things space, we came to Huntsville specifically to visit the Space & Rocket Center, and maybe my expectations were too high. We thought it was about 50% as good as Kennedy Space Center in Florida. On the positive side, the materials in the Saturn V hall focused on the development of the rocket technology in Huntsville were excellent and thorough. There were tons of really good artifacts and multi-media displays to help visitors immerse in the topic. We watched one of the Imax movies (Beautiful Planet, focused on the International Space Station and its science work) and loved the incredible images of Earth and space in the film. The rocket garden has a good collection of historic rockets on display, though they were desperately in need of a fresh coat of paint.

There were quite a few disappointments, however. Many of the displays were disjointed or just plain weird -- I have no idea why there is a scale model of a power plant turbine from the TVA in front of the Saturn V building, and it was one of many obviously self-promotional displays sponsored by local industry. A lot of the artifacts were second-tier; Kennedy has an actual space shuttle rather than a steel-and-wood model. There was a large emphasis on military weapons which is understandable given that we're at the Redstone Arsenal but detracts from the focus on space. A lot of real estate within the complex is devoted to space camp and not open to other visitors. The physical facility is pretty shabby. All this contributed to our disappointment in the visit, especially given the relatively high prices. We did receive free admission thanks to being ASTC members, but the bus tour and movie tickets must be purchased separately.

If everything were brought up to the level of sophistication of the Saturn V / rocketry exhibits, this place would really shine.

Thank ZamiaV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USSRC, Manager at U.S. Space and Rocket Center, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2018

Thank you so much for visiting us, and for your feedback. We are currently in the process of restoring our outdoor exhibits, starting with new signage throughout the park. We will pass this feedback along to our museum management staff.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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