Road Trip Spotlight: U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Hunstville

Just a quick drive north to Hunstville and you can easily make a day trip out of visiting the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Hunstsville, AL.

Home to Space Camp®, Aviation Challenge® Camp, and Robotics Camp the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) is the most comprehensive U.S. manned spaceflight hardware museum in the world. Its large rocket and space hardware collection is valued in the tens of millions of dollars. From America’s first satellite, Explorer I, to next generation space vehicles like Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser, the museum showcases the past, present and future of human spaceflight. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center serves as the Official NASA Visitor Center for Marshall Space Flight Center and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

The USSRC is more than just artifacts! Experience the physics of astronaut training like never before in simulators like Space ShotTM and G-Force. Our Spacedome IMAX® Theater and our National Geographic Theater transports you to different worlds with amazing documentary films like Hubble, and live demonstrations in the Discovery Theater will have you seeing space science in a whole new light.

The Robot Zoo is one of their newer exhibits that will be running through the summer.

The 5,000-square-foot exhibit reveals the magic of nature as a master engineer. Eight robot animals and more than a dozen hands-on activities illustrate fascinating real-life characteristics, such as how a chameleon changes colors, a giant squid propels itself and a fly walks on the ceiling.
The larger-than-life-size animated robots include a chameleon, a rhinoceros, a giant squid with 18-foot tentacles and a platypus. Also featured are a house fly with a 10-foot wingspread, a grasshopper, a bat and a giraffe whose head and neck alone stretch 9 feet tall.

Cutaways expose the animals’ insides as a host of easily recognizable machine parts and gadgets, such as shock absorbers and pumps, that demonstrate what makes animals work. By comparing anatomy, environments and size of the actual creatures to the mechanic counterparts, The Robot Zoo provides fantastic new insights and hands-on fun for discovering just how animals work.

So pick a day and plan a trip to see what all the USSRC has to offer! You won’t be disappointed.

Special Note: The Space and Rocket Center offers a Summer Pass that includes the following:

  • 1 adult 2 children $40.00  (add additional people for $10 Limit 3)
  • Museum admission Sunday – Thursday between Memorial Day and Labor Day
  • Includes the traveling exhibitions
  • Includes standard museum simulators
  • Can apply the $40 to upgrade to a yearly family membership
  • Science of Imagination (STEAM activity) every Thursday in June and July (geared for ages 4-6)
  • Not available to purchase online


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