- Type of Venue: Museum complex with multiple venues
- Capacity: 25-2,000 people
- Nearby Accommodations: Huntsville Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn Huntsville/Space Center
- Hotel rooms: 1,300 guest rooms
- Contact Info: 256-721-7183
Appropriately located in the heart of “the Rocket City,” the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, offers more than just a meeting space to take any event to a new stratosphere of success.
Huntsville has long held its space in the stars: It was where America’s space program was conceived when Wernher von Braun, “the Father of Rocket Science” moved to town in the early 1950s. Since then, Huntsville has been home to the team that produced the rockets that put the first U.S. satellite and U.S. citizens into space, the International Space Station and, of course, the team that dreamed up and established the U.S. Space and Rocket Center (USSRC).
The USSRC opened its doors to the public in 1970 as NASA’s first visitors center and has continually launched visitors into a world of exploration and awe through the numerous events and meetings that take place in its halls. The center is home to thousands of artifacts, ranging from moon rocks to lunar rockets to the original Apollo 16 Command Module, spread through a vast museum space, as well as Space Camp, the Spacedome Theatre, Rocket Park, the Education Training Center and more. After hours, the USSRC also serves as a venue with ample space to host some out-of-this-world events.
“We are a key-turn service,” said Claudia Jones, director of special events at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. “You can coordinate your whole event with us to include technical needs, catering, entertainment, simulators and movies. We have done conferences, weddings and wedding receptions, fundraisers, holiday celebrations and corporate events. We have an internal catering service ranging from full-service dinners to receptions and buffets. We have an educator training facility and corporate classrooms that overlook the Mission Complex Center where Space Camp does training, and we also offer corporate camps for adults with a focus on team building.”
The spacious center’s unique offerings and interactive add-on activities make the U.S. Space and Rocket Center a great venue for taking command of your next event.
The main space at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center is the Davidson Center for Space Exploration, which accommodates 1,400 people and gives guests the chance to dine beneath the Saturn V rocket.
Rentable spaces include the Main Exhibit Area, which holds 250 people for night functions; the Galaxy Dining Room, which accommodates up to 300 people for receptions and dinners; Shuttle Park, with space for 2,000 attendees for dances and seated dinners; the Spacedome Imax Theatre and Lobby, where 288 people can enjoy hors d’ouevres before gazing at the 67-foot tall domed screen; the Astrotrek Building, which holds 200 to 300 for dinners or receptions; two corporate classrooms; and the Educator Training Facility, which can seat 70 people.
There are numerous ways to take a break or pass some spare time at the USSRC. Meeting groups can take advantage of all the center offers, with access to the flight simulators, tours of the museum and even delicious food from the in-house caterers. Among the tons of museum artifacts and displays, the center offers great opportunities to shoot out into space with rides, climbing walls, movies, a gift shop and more. The center also offers meeting groups access to a 3-D theater, Imax movies and simulators and the chance to dine beneath a full-size Saturn V rocket.
Catering and Dining
The USSRC offers an in-house catering service and provides a full range of menu options for events, from elegant seated dinners to corporate box lunches. Alcohol is served at either a cash bar or a hosted bar with premium selections available.
The menu can be fully customized, but the center is known for crudites and hors d’ouevres, and offers an international selection for buffets and seated dinners that includes Asian, Jamaican, Italian, Mexican and other ethnic choices.
China is used for most of the locations, except for events with a picnic menu or an hors d’ouevres menu, or those held in the Educator Training Facility, which features disposable tableware.
If your group is looking to fully blast into a new experience with your meeting, check out the numerous simulators offered at the center. From the floating feel of weightlessness on Mars to the heavy G forces of a shuttle launch, guests will love ascending into new heights. Other simulator experiences include a Hummer ride through terrorist territory, an Apache flying experience and the Cosmos Energy Depletion Zone, where visitors can crawl around in the Space Station and get lost in dreams of space as they explore the rocket and imagine docking the command module.