Early Alabama Space & Rocket Center Souvenir Booklet
I have in my collection an early souvenir booklet from the Alabama Space & Rocket Center, the original name of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.
I consider it likely that this souvenir booklet was the first one issued by the ASRC, as many of the pictures show the grounds not yet paved and before all of the grass has started growing. (The aerial shot of the ASRC grounds featured in the booklet has been heavily photoshopped -- back when "photoshop" was a room in the art department, not a program -- to add pavement, grass, and trees to the photograph.) Additionally, the booklet depicts Skylab with both solar arrays and takes time to explain what the Skylab program was. Since Skylab was launched in 1973, this booklet almost certainly predates that.
The ASRC was dedicated on March 17, 1970. Wernher von Braun wanted to give the people of Alabama a world-class space museum, intending it to be the only place in the world where visitors could see a Saturn V moon rocket. (The ASRC Saturn is composed entirely of testing stages never designed for flight; when the ASRC was conceived, no one knew that there'd be parts of three other Saturn V launch vehicles left over for museums.)
In the booklet's forward, von Braun elaborates:
Now for the first time, the adventure and drama of man's first journey to another planetary body can be relived at the world's largest space exhibit - the Alabama Space and Rocket Center. The Alabama Space and Rocket Center is dedicated not only to the brave astronauts and the machines that made that historical journey, but also to a nation committed to progress. There have always been - and probably always will be - people whose fear of the unknown causes them to pull back on the coattails of those who blaze new trails. But I truly believe that space exploration is vital to our nation's future.
This unique exhibit center is a graphic presentation of man's entry into the Cosmic Age, into a dawn of knowledge not yet fully envisioned, but one that is vast and unlimited and holds forth the greatest hope for the future of earth and man.
Housing an impressive collection of space artifacts and exhibitry, the Alabama Space and Rocket Center is much more than a place of entertainment. It is an educational tool. It lets you become involved in the exciting and challenging age of space travel.
The Alabama Space and Rocket Center is by far, the best facility of its kind in the world. I know that you will find your visit here exciting, educational, and one not soon to be forgotten.
For more information and documents from the USSRC's history, see my First Alabama Space & Rocket Center Brochure, my Official Guide to the Alabama Space & Rocket Center brochure, my Vintage USSRC Photos page, and my Political Career of Sigma 7 page. Also see Hab1.com, which has a couple of additional ASRC brochures: one, two.
Proceed to download links.
Here are some sample pages from the booklet:
I've prepared three PDFs: