U.S. Space and Rocket Center
The USSRC holds a special place in my heart: While I've always been interested in the space program, that interest lay dormant from about the time I graduated school until 2002, when a coworker who went to a NASCAR race in Talladega brought back some pictures from a side trip to the USSRC. As I avidly thumbed through his pictures, he said that it was only a day's drive away. And so I made that 11½ hour trip down I-65 that summer, and again, and again -- sometimes two or three times a year. As of November 2019, it's 29 trips (and counting).
It was on the drive home from that first USSRC trip when I thought to myself, "Well, there are only 15 manned Apollo command modules; it shouldn't be that hard to see all of them." Around that time I discovered the Field Guide to American Spacecraft, and the rest is history (or at least this website).
I've been visiting the Rocket Center for nearly 20 years, and as one might expect, there have been many changes at the museum over the years. The most obvious change is the creation of the Davidson Center for Space Exploration: When I started visiting, all of the artifacts were located in what is now the "old" building (at the time, it was the "only" building :-) The main exhibit gallery was Space Hall, where most of the big-ticket items were located. A number of smaller artifacts were located in the Rocket City Legacy exhibit, with an even smaller number being exhibited on the West Mezzanine. The Saturn V, of course, was located in the Rocket Park.
Starting in summer 2007, artifacts started moving into the Davidson Center. First, it was the Saturn V (during "Rocket Roll"). Additional artifacts were moved to the Davidson Center prior to its grand opening on January 31, 2008 (the 50th anniversary of the first successful U.S. satellite launch). Over the course of the next couple of years, nearly all of the artifacts (other than those on the West Mezzanine) were moved from the old museum to the Davidson Center, with Space Hall primarily hosting travelling exhibits and the old Rocket City Legacy area given over to virtual reality, simulators, and smaller temporary exhibits.
The Rocket Park underwent additional changes starting in summer 2018, as all of the Chrysler rockets (i.e., those based on Jupiter and Redstone missiles), the V-1, and the MOLAB were taken off of display for restoration. As of my last visit, work was still underway and these artifacts were still off display.
I've tried to arrange the artifacts on this page in some sort of logical fashion, which is something of a daunting task with all of these changes! I've settled upon presenting all of the (more-or-less) current exhibits, in approximately the order they would be encountered by first walking through the museum and then taking a stroll in the Rocket Park. Then I've placed my photos of of artifacts that are no longer on exhibit or which have been moved, again beginning with the former indoor exhibits and then artifacts which had been in the Rocket Park.
Google Maps link.
As of now, I have not yet sorted through all of my pictures from the USSRC, but some other page references this location. Thus, this is a "place holder" version right now, with only the pictures actually referenced. Come back some time later to see if I've finished up, or drop me an email to request me to prioritize the rest of these pictures.