U.S. Space & Rocket Center offers new behind the scenes experiences

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - If you haven’t been to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in a while, you might want to think about heading back.

The museum is now offering “behind the scenes” experiences to everyone, which were previously only available for Space Camp students. The goal is to help keep our city’s historic Space Camp alive.

“Not only does it bring in revenue but it opens the public eye so that A, we can stay busy, but B offer something to our community for them to get out and explore and to do something different that is right here in the Rocket City,” Director of Mission Support Nathan Carter said.

There are two shuttle experiences available including the Discovery Shuttle Experience and the Enterprise Shuttle Experience.

I became an astronaut for a day and got a glimpse of both!

If you decide to partake in the first option, you’ll have the chance to tour the Mission Floor, visit the Lunar Base and Mars Habitat, and learn about the Space Camp Missions.

Then you’ll take part in a 20-minute experience aboard the Discovery Shuttle simulator to see if you have the skills to launch your crew to space.

You’ll learn about the control panels, what to do if things go wrong and of course, how to land the shuttle.

The most challenging part is getting the shuttle back onto the runway, which according to Carter, doesn’t happen often.

If the Enterprise Shuttle Experience is more intriguing, then here is what you need to know!

You’ll launch into orbit aboard the Enterprise Shuttle Simulator and complete an Extra-Vehicular activity. This entails strapping into the Canadarm and helping repair a satellite for release into orbit.

Carter says teamwork and communication are vital to a successful launch.

These shuttle experiences are not easy, but they are completely worth the ride!

“We have had to get creative with what we are trying to do in order to keep people employed and keep Space Camp alive in this off season,” Carter said.

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is also offering a new scuba experience. Participants will dive in the museum’s Underwater Astronaut Trainer and descend 24 feet to the bottom.

For more information about all of these unique options, you can visit www.rocketcenter.com.

Pricing information is listed and a link to purchase tickets is open.

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