HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) will be breaking ground on the newly renovated Rocket Park on Thursday. The event will take place at the site where they plan to reinstall five historic rockets in the newly configured and expanded park.
In 2018, the USSRC removed its U.S. Army Redstone, Jupiter, Jupiter-C, Juno II, and Mercury-Redstone rockets, which were mounted before opening in 1970.
These rockets make up the Redstone family of rockets, which led to the development of Saturn I, and ultimately, Saturn V, which took Americans to the moon.
The rockets were restored at Cosmos Aerospace in Cullman, including repairs and repainting. A Space Camp parent from California helped significantly with funding for the restoration.
The Rocket Park project includes remounting the rockets, a new amphitheater for educational experiences and community events, and greener, guest-friendly spaces. Another significant feature is the Marshall Retirees Association’s Space Exploration Memorial.
The memorial will include the names of thousands of local people and various companies who have supported space exploration as employees of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.
The park will also include information on the SLS Core Stage Pathfinder, like a mock-up that matches the size, weight, and center of gravity of the Space Launch System that is managed by the Marshall Space Flight Center.
The Pathfinder was used at Kennedy Space Center — and other NASA centers — to practice handling the actual vehicle. The park will display the massive size of the SLS launch vehicle and illustrate the Rocket City’s ongoing role in space exploration.
The new Rocket Park, as well as the new Space Camp Operations Center, is part of an ongoing renewal of the Rocket Center campus.