Huntsville, Alabama
Monte Sano State Park
August 27
2262 miles and 24 days into the trip.

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Well, we are still trying to run from the path of hurricane Katrina. We only spent one night in Memphis and now plan to spend just one night here in Huntsville. We planned to spend two nights at each place but the storm is heading this way.

Huntsville is home to NASA's Space and Rocket Center. It is where the US Army developed their rocket technology. There were 114 German rocket scientist who surrendered to the US Army at the end of WWII, rather than be captured by Russia. These scientist where the backbone of our post WWII rocket development. The Redstone rocket was developed from the German V-2 rocket. The Redstone rocket was the first put a US satellite (Explorer I) into orbit. It was also used to put the first Mercury space crafts into sub-orbital flight. .

The specifications for the Atlas, Titan, Saturn, and Shuttle missiles and rocket engines were developed at this center.
It cost $16 per adult. But when we went to pay, we found out that the National Park Golden Age Passport allowed free access!
We are sure saving money being so old!!


The Saturn V with the Apollo spacecraft on top. - (A full size scale model.)
They have a real Saturn V in sections laying on it's side in the museum, just like the one at Cape Kennedy. The Saturn V is the most powerful missile which we have. If we ever go back to the Moon they will probably build more of them.


All of these missiles are to the same scale. I labeled some of them.
The S5 is setting on the floor.
A = Mercury Atlas
G = Gemini Titan
S1-b Apollo Saturn - Earth Orbit
S5 = Apollo Saturn - Moon Orbit and Landing.


The space shuttle simulator.
I'm trying to land the shuttle. I crashed twice.


As we toured the museum we fell in with a special tour. She gave us many interesting facts. All of which we could have read from the signs.
It was much faster this way.


Atlas B missile.
This was one with the Arma inertial guidance system.
The GE guidance was more accurate and much lighter and used on most Atlas missiles. Most Atlas B's were converted to GE guidance when they were removed from the weapons stockpile and moved to standard launch vehicle for launching satellites. This was one of the few not converted. It must have been a dud!


Little River Canyon National Park and Preserve.
On our way to Georgia we passed through this NP. We did not know it existed until I started to plan this trip. They did not even have a park office.

Back to the Fall 2005 Travel Directory