Home Is Where We Park It: Sharon Johnston Park 

June 13, 2019

Temperature 83 Degrees

Sunny with a Light Breeze

U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville 

Good Morning World!  Wow, what a beautiful day we woke to today.  A bit chilly, 51 degrees but a clear blue sky and just a hint of a breeze.

Thursday was sight-seeing day and another opportunity to cross another place off our Bucket List –  the U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Going to just give you an overview right now since I have so many pictures to sort through and put in order.  But here we go.  This was our destination.


This year the Center is celebrating the 50th year of our first successful mission to the moon.

 On July 16, 1969 at 9:32 a.m. at NASA’s Launch Pad 39A, Apollo 11’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.  This is lift off on that day.



There are tons of other exhibits about this, what led to it, how it came about, the men involved and the flights leading up to it.

There is a whole building about and so many  exhibits about the Saturn V.  The Saturn V Rocket is a symbol of ingenuity and “can-do” spirit for the world. For this region, the towering Saturn V replica is a faithful reminder of what was accomplished here in Huntsville by those with a can do mind set and continues to serve as a welcome beacon to those traveling in the Huntsville area.


Here are the five main F-1 engines on the fist stage.


This is a 1:10 scale model of the rocket.  It consists of the Saturn V rocket, the different stages, and the Apollo spacecraft on top.  By the time of launch day the rocket and the Apollo spacecraft had a total of more than 6 million individual parts that had to work together in perfect harmony for a successful mission.  On launch day the Saturn V stood 363 feet tall and weighed 6.5 million pounds.  It carried 203,400 gallons of kerosene and 318,000 gallons of liquid nitrogen.  It generated 7.6 million pounds of thrust, more than 85 Hoover Dams.


At the very top was the Apollo Spacecraft.  The Command Module housed the three man crew from lift off to splash down, except when two of them where in the lunar module going to and returning from the moon.


There is also a detailed display regarding the International Space Station.   Some facts about the ISS:

  • it travels around the earth at a speed of 17,500 mph
  • it orbits the earth at a distance of 236 to 286 miles up
  • it is equivalent in size to a five bedroom house with two bathrooms, it has a gym, and a 360 degree viewing window
  • it weights 924, 739 pounds,
  • it’s length is that of a football field with end zones.


This will give you an idea of what part of the ISS was contributed by what country.


A replica of one section of the ISS.


Everything that takes place on the ISS – all the experiments, storage of all items, communication with those onboard, etc. – goes through the Marshall Space Flight Center in Hunstville.   By the way did you know those onboard get the weekend off.


This is a dynamic map that constantly shows the location of the ISS at any given moment.


These are some live pictures that are constantly transmitted back to earth by the ISS.


This is what happens when they loose visual contact with the ISS– which happens quite frequently but never lasts more than a minute or two.


This is the  Laboratory Training Complex.  This is a realistic mockup of one part of the ISS.  Those from the U.S. going to the ISS to conduct experiments use mock ups here of those experiments in order to  learn st how to conduct them and the various steps involved in each experiment.IMG_6234

The Center is also home to Space Camp.  This is what actually brought us here.  We saw a movie many years ago about the Space Camp and decided we wanted to visit the Center where it was located.


This is one of the training rooms.


Hanging up there are two of the campers on a mission that they have been assigned to complete.


A part of their training complex.


Their living quarters.


The woman on the far right in this picture is a graduate of Space Camp and will be spending her next year aboard the ISS.


OK, this is just a small part of the Space and Rocket Complex.  In the days ahead as I get pictures sorted out I’ll be bringing you more about it.  If you haven’t been here put it on your must list to visit.  There are several great RV parks in the area so finding a place to stay here in the area will be no problem.

Our day on The Road of Retirement yesterday was a great one.  It was a long day but worth every minute of the time we spent out and about.  I wish I had had more time to spend there but by the end of the day I was on information overload and already had some six hundred pictures to sort through.  It was, in so many words, time to cry Uncle.

Thanks for traveling with us.  We always appreciate your company.  Catch you tomorrow.

These are the voyages of  Graybeard and it’s occupants, four paws and two humans.  Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before

See you on down the road!





  1. What a wonderful way to spend the day. How do you remember all the info that you share with us? I go brain dead before I leave those places. I think we would really enjoy that facility. Good job of enticing us.


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