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The United States Space and Rocket Center is in Huntsville, Alabama and is home to thousands of historic space objects and stones from the moon. The Center also houses several simulators and rides. A camp for adults and young children that allows them to experience astronaut training is offered as well. Since the United States Space and Rocket Center opened in 1970, millions of people from around the world have visited.
In the early 1960s, Dr. Wernher von Braun, the renowned developer of early rockets, had the idea to create the Center. An Act passed by the Alabama Legislature on November 30, 1965 provided funds to build the museum, and land for the United States Space and Rocket Center was donated by the Army's Redstone Arsenal.
The museum is home to over 1,500 space-related artifacts, and visitors can view many rockets as well as the Casper command module from the Apollo 16 mission. Likewise, rock fragments that were brought back from expeditions to the moon are on display at the Center, and many National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) prototypes can also be seen.
People who visit this museum can expect to find a wide variety of simulators and rides. Three popular exhibits include the Mars Rover, G-Force Accelerator, and Space Shot simulators. The G-Force Accelerator allows visitors to experience three times the force of gravity, similar to the gravitational forces to which astronauts are exposed.
Space camps are an important part of the United States Space and Rocket Center. The camp programs were begun in 1982 and are open to people of all ages and specialize in meeting the needs of disabled children. Those participating in the camp programs experience different aspects of astronaut training, and studies reveal that children who attend show an increased interested in science-related subjects.
In addition to space camps and artifacts, the Aviation Challenge program is featured at the Center. It caters to children and teens who are interested in learning more about flight careers. The program teaches participants about plane crash survival techniques and basic fighter tactics. Flight simulators allow participants to experience real-life flying scenarios, and advanced levels of the Aviation Challenge program offers participants the chance to learn evasion skills.