Published: January 11th 2011January 6th 2011
Weather was fine & clear this morning, and after breakfast in our Hotel we were on our way by around 9.45AM heading into Sweet Home Alabama. Short drive today only about 200km to a place called Huntsville.
It’s known as Rocket City as it was here in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s that America’s space programme was based. They have a place called the US Space & Rocket Centre which has more artifacts than they have at Cape Canaveral in Florida where all the launches now take place.
We arrived in Huntsville around 12 Noon and decided to have lunch before going to the space centre. We had seen this place called Cracker Barrell about 20 times on this road trip so we thought we’d give it a try. Inside is a gift shop with all sorts of country things for sale and they had a restaurant where Kerry & I had our soup in served a special cast iron pot with a handle, and on every table they have this game you play whilst you are waiting for your meals. A nice hot open fire burning as well. Both Luke & Elise had late breakfasts (eggs on
toast and French Bread respectively). This place was well worth a visit and we bought some souvenirs on the way out.
Then we went to the Space Centre and this place was good. The main museum has a lot of history and artifacts of the US space programme and I found it interesting to read about the timelines of their programme and the competition between the Soviets to get to the moon. I did not know about the German guy called Wernher Von Braun (read about him on Wikipedia) who was pivotal to the development of the space plans who was captured by the Americans at the end of the war (he had been developing war missiles for the Nazi's).
The main museum also had a genuine Saturn 5 full sized Rocket (laying down). This is what they used for all of the Apollo missions where the rocket would burn it’s bottom section then drop that section of then burn next level of rockets and drop them and so on (it was in 3-4 sections).
They also had the Command Module on display on it’s own which is the section the flew on Apollo 13 when they
Saturn V inside museum
Look at the kids to get a perspective of size
had to return home as per the famous movie. They also had the Lunar Module which was used for the actual moon landings.
Then we went to see an Imax movie about how they saved the Hubble telescope by sending a Shuttle mission to repair it in 1999.
We then went on a ride which simulates a rollercoaster on Mars and finished up outside where you see a lot of smaller rockets on display as well as a Space Shuttle complete with all of it’s tanks it has at liftoff and another Saturn V (this time vertical) and it reached high into the sky.
We checked into our Hotel at the Towne Place Suites which is part of the Marriott chain. A 2 bedroom suite with small lounge and kitchen and fine for 1 night. Big shopping mall next door with lots of Restaurants around so we had Mexican. We had two bowls of nacho chips for entree plus 4 mains and desert with a Corona Light on the side all for $50-00. They call main meals here Entrees and the Light Beer is not light in Alcohol but light in carbs. Not sure why we don’t
have Corona Light back home. Tasted pretty good.
Tomorrow we head back to Tennessee to a town called Chattanooga where we will spend the next 2 nights but not before visiting the town of Scottsboro Alabama on the way through.
There are more photos below