A Wheel and Away

U.S. Space and Rocket Centre, AL

Huntsville, Alabama, USA

Make sure you allow plenty of time when you visit.  We had planned for a couple of hours and ended up having to book another night at the hotel!

This place is huge and absolutely fantastic.  Whether you want to look at at one of the only three remaining Apollo V rockets left in existence, designated a National Historic Landmark, have a look inside a space station, see the quarantine unit where the lunar landing astronauts spent their first days back on earth…….the list goes on!  Maybe you want to shake hands with a real NASA scientist?  There are docents on hand to talk to you of their experience – we met two wonderful guys who had both worked on the 1969 landing.  How exciting was that!  See some genuine moon rock or the Apollo 16 capsule.  There are simulators to try out, interactive games to play, thousands of exhibits and artefacts to see and interspersed with everything is the history behind the space room and the major players involved.

The fabulous IMAX planetarium can give you an even more immersive experience, offering varied programmes from the Apollo landing to the stars over Alabama.

US citizens can take a bus tour around the adjoining Marshall Space Flight Centre.  This is sadly not available to international visitors due to Federal regulation.

Outside there are rides to try out and picnic areas to sit and eat your lunch in the shadow of a huge rocket.

And if all this still hasn’t sated your appetite, you can always come back for Space Camp.  As long as you are still under 18!

Affiliated to the Smithsonian Museum and home to the NASA Marshall Space Flight Centre, this was a fantastic, informative and exciting day out.

General accessibility information

Excellent.  Everywhere is fully accessible, with paved walkways, plenty of room for manoeuvre and ramped access where necessary.  Even the replica space station is accessible.  There are one or two exhibits that may be a bit tricky, such as the mobile quarantine unit but on the whole there is great access.

There are disabled toilet facilities and plenty of designated parking spaces immediately outside.

Wheelchairs are available to borrow and electric mobility scooters can be rented for a small fee.