We recently took a field trip with our homeschool group to the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center. We had so much fun exploring and learning about space.
Above is a picture of a space like the one used to take the astronauts to the moon (used for testing but obviously not used in space). It span almost the entire length of the top floor of the building. It was separated by phases that it would break into during launch. The massiveness of the space craft and the ability to see what was inside the phases was amazing.
This is a picture of the craft that the astronauts would use to come back to Earth after their mission was complete. You can see the damage is sustained during re-entry into the atmosphere. It would land in the ocean and then was retrieved. Something I did not realize is that astronauts are put into quarantine for several weeks after they come back to Earth due to the changes their bodies go through in space.
This is a replica of the lunar landing space craft. Some neat history we learned while we were there. During the first mission to the moon, Neil Armstrong landed the lunar space craft with just 30 seconds of fuel left. The surface of the moon was different than anticipated and was rocky. He was trying to find a better place to land the craft and with just 30 seconds before the mission had to be aborted, he landed it. And as they say the rest is history... “One small step for man....”. Can you imagine how history would have been altered if he did have to abort the mission?
There was an image of the moon on the ground. It had a picture of the lunar landing craft and where it landed on the moon for each mission we have sent to the moon. Obviously, the above is a picture of the first mission to the moon. It’s amazing that they only spend 4 days in space and that is they typical space mission to the moon.
Another interesting fact, according to one of the staff at the space center, they were given orders to return to the moon by 2024. They will start testing from Huntsville in 2020. They seemed very excited to return to the moon. This will help lead the way to conquer Mars by 2032. They anticipate the team going to Mars and spending about 9 months on the planet. This seems like an incredible feat in just 12 years.
Picture of a moon rock brought back from one of the missions to the moon. On one of the missions they brought back over 200 pounds moon rocks.
Here are some additional pictures we took. It was an amazing trip and we definitely want to go back as we missed a lot. I would highly recommend visiting if you are in the area. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
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