U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Huntsville is home to the state's most visited attraction and the largest space museum in the world: the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC). The USSRC is a Smithsonian Affiliate and the Official Visitor Center for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

Not only is America’s space program on exhibit in Huntsville, but it was also forged here. We’re known as the “Rocket City” because Huntsville, Alabama, is where the rockets that put man on the moon were developed. When you visit this attraction, you can’t help but feel the anticipation Dr. Wernher von Braun and his team must have felt as they prepared to make history. And now you can learn about NASA's current plans (and Huntsville’s role) to travel to Mars with the world’s most powerful rocket – the Space Launch System (SLS).

Lunar Capsule at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL

A space enthusiast, history buff, appreciator of the arts, or anyone with a general curiosity for how the world works would enjoy Alabama’s top tourism jewel. Where else can one stand beneath the world’s only full-stack Space Shuttle, complete with two solid rocket boosters and external tank? Or walk the length of a suspended authentic Saturn V moon rocket?

External view of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL

Permanent Collections

The spaceflight collection doesn’t stop there. In true Huntsville fashion, you’ll find history celebrated along with progress. The permanent museum collection covers everything from:

  • The first American satellite, Explorer I
  • Original capsule trainers for the Mercury and Gemini programs
  • Design modules for the International Space Station
  • Next-generation vehicles, such as Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser
  • Current models for SLS


Traveling Exhibits

As a Smithsonian Institute affiliate, the Rocket Center attracts international traveling exhibits that have featured everything from Da Vinci, prehistoric mammals, animal robots, and Star Wars. 

INTUITIVE® Planetarium and Other Attractions

Opened in 2019, the  INTUITIVE® Planetarium offers astronomy shows, live entertainment, and theater experiences. See documentaries in 3D on the 52-foot screen of the National Geographic Theater. For the thrill-seekers, there’s the “Space Shot,” where you’ll feel 4 Gs of force as you launch 140 feet in the air in 2.5 seconds, or you can experience three times the force of gravity as you spin in the "G-Force Accelerator.”  

Cocktails and Cosmos Intuitive Planetarium US Space and Rocket Center

U.S. Space Camp Training Center

As if that weren’t enough, while you’re at the Rocket Center, you’ll get a birds-eye view of Space Camp, where more than 750,000 students (and adults) have conducted simulated missions.

Fun Fact: Did you know that five space camp graduates have become astronauts? And all five are women!

Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL


Apollo II and Artemis I

On July 16, 1969, at 9:32 a.m. at NASA’s Launch Pad 39A, Apollo II’s five F1 engines on Nasa’s Saturn-V AS-506 rocket ignited to slowly lift three Americans and humankind’s dreams aboard the historic mission to the Moon. On the 50th anniversary of Apollo II in 2019, Huntsville danced in the streets, toasted Apollo workers and moonwalkers, and led a worldwide rocket launch of thousands as part of its celebration. On November 16, 2022, Artemis I launched for a mission duration of 25 days and traveled 1.4 million miles. Artemis I is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions to build a long-term human presence on the Moon for decades to come. 

Artemis Launch