Go behind the scenes at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for a VIP experience. Meet scientists, engineers, and astronauts and participate in space exploration simulations and astronaut training activities. 

Starting at: $3,995 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Apollo 16 Command Module  First group of Smithsonian travelers at Space Academy  U.S. Space & Rocket Center   Saturn V Hall, U.S. Space & Rocket Center   Saturn V Hall, U.S. Space & Rocket Center  Take part in simulated space missions  Take part in simulated space missions  Take part in simulated space missions  Take part in simulated space missions  The spinning Multi-Axis Trainer  Take part in simulated space missions

Smithsonian at Space Academy

5 days from $3,995

Go behind the scenes at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for a VIP experience. Meet scientists, engineers, and astronauts and participate in space exploration simulations and astronaut training activities. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Leave your 'adult' at home… Instead bring your wide-eyed, science nerd "child." This is more than an excursion. It is a knowledge-filled experience!

- Russell F.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Huntsville Marriott at the Space & Rocket Center

Huntsville, Alabama, United States

The Huntsville Marriott is ideally situated right on the grounds of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Guests can enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, an indoor and outdoor pool, fitness center, and multiple dining options. The comfortable rooms feature down-filled pillows and duvets, in-room tea and coffee makers, and flat-panel LCD televisions.

Number of nights: 4

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: This Specialty Stay program features one city and one hotel, located on the grounds of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Full-day programs take place at the Space Academy, which involves walking and light activity. Travelers also have the option of participating in more rigorous astronaut training activities, including simulators such as the spinning Multi-Axis Trainer and the Underwater Astronaut Trainer, which creates a feeling of weightlessness that prepares astronauts for performing tasks in reduced gravity.*

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with long days of programs.

*Please note that travelers who want to participate in the Underwater Astronaut Trainer (UAT) will have to sign a release and medical form. This is a scuba-diving experience and will require a physician’s approval. Insulin-dependent diabetics, epileptics, persons with a history of reactive airway disease or asthma, and persons with certain other medical conditions will not be permitted to dive.

Through the Smithsonian Lens

Discover more about Apollo 11 through the Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine: 

Air & Space Magazine | By Roger Mola
Air & Space Magazine | By 
Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Leave your 'adult' at home… Instead bring your wide-eyed, science nerd "child." This is more than an excursion. It is a knowledge-filled experience!

- Russell F.
Reading List

Highly Recommended

Dr. Space: The Life of Wernher von Braun
By: Bob Ward
Written by veteran aerospace journalist Bob Ward, who spent years investigating his subject, this biography presents a revealing but even-handed portrait of the father of modern rocketry. As he chronicles Werner von Braun's life, Ward explodes many myths and misconceptions about the controversial genius who was a hero to some, a villain to others. The picture of von Braun that emerges is of a brilliant scientist with limitless curiosity and a drive to achieve his goals at almost any price--from developing the world's first ballistic missile used against the Allies in World War II to helping launch the first U.S. satellite that hurled Americans into space and the Saturn V super-booster that powered them to the moon. Along the way readers are introduced to the human side of this charismatic visionary who brought the United States into the Space Age.
Bold They Rise: The Space Shuttle Early Years, 1972-1986 (Outward Odyssey: A People's History of Spaceflight)
By: David Hitt, Heather R. Smith
After the Apollo program put twelve men on the moon and safely brought them home, anything seemed possible. In this spirit, the team at NASA set about developing the Space Shuttle, arguably the most complex piece of machinery ever created. The world’s first reusable spacecraft, it launched like a rocket, landed like a glider, and carried out complicated missions in between.  Bold They Rise tells the story of the Space Shuttle through the personal experiences of the astronauts, engineers, and scientists who made it happen—in space and on the ground, from the days of research and design through the heroic accomplishments of the program to the tragic last minutes of the Challenger disaster. In the participants’ own voices, we learn what so few are privy to: what it was like to create a new form of spacecraft, to risk one’s life testing that craft, to float freely in the vacuum of space as a one-man satellite, to witness a friend’s death. A “guided tour” of the shuttle—in historical, scientific, and personal terms—this book provides a fascinating, richly informed, and deeply personal view of a feat without parallel in the human story.Browse more spaceflight books at upinspace.org.
The Right Stuff
By: Tom Wolfe
From "America's nerviest journalist" (Newsweek)--a breath-taking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space. "Tom Wolfe at his very best" (The New York Times Book Review)Millions of words have poured forth about man's trip to the moon, but until now few people have had a sense of the most engrossing side of the adventure; namely, what went on in the minds of the astronauts themselves - in space, on the moon, and even during certain odysseys on earth. It is this, the inner life of the astronauts, that Tom Wolfe describes with his almost uncanny empathetic powers, that made The Right Stuff a classic.
Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond
By: Kranz, Gene

Also Recommended

Apollo to the Moon: A History in 50 Objects
By: Teasel E. Muir-Harmony
A celebration of the 50th anniversary of NASA's Apollo missions to the moon, this narrative uses 50 key artifacts from the Smithsonian archives to tell the story of the groundbreaking space exploration program.Bold photographs, fascinating graphics, and engaging stories commemorate the 20th century's most important space endeavor: NASA's Apollo program to reach the moon. From the lunar rover and a survival kit to space food and moon rocks, it's a carefully curated array of objects--complete with intriguing back stories and profiles of key participants.This book showcases the historic space exploration program that landed humans on the moon, advanced the world's capabilities for space travel, and revolutionized our sense of humanity's place in the universe. Each historic accomplishment is symbolized by a different object, from a Russian stamp honoring Yuri Gagarin and plastic astronaut action figures to the Apollo 11 command module, piloted by Michael Collins as Armstrong and Aldrin made the first moonwalk, together with the monumental art inspired by these moon missions. Throughout, Apollo to the Moon also tells the story of people who made the journey possible: the heroic astronauts as well as their supporters, including President John F. Kennedy, newsman Walter Cronkite, and NASA scientists such as Margaret Hamilton.
The Real Space Cowboys 2018 Expanded Hardcover Edition!
By: Ed Buckbee
Nearly 200 photos of the Mercury 7, Marshall Space Flight Center, and more! Includes a Bonus DVD featuring vintage documentaries, "Gotcha's" and gags, astronaut interviews, and NASA mission videos! The Real Space Cowboys tells the story of America's Mercury 7 astronauts, who volunteered to be the first to explore the unknown perils of spaceflight beginning in the late 1950s. Detailed interviews with the Mercury 7 Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, and Deke Slayton provide a first-hand account at the competition, controversies, training, and hard work that took them a step beyond their former lives as cocky military pilots. The book also tells the story of the twelve brave Moonwalkers who actually landed on the Moon, Wernher von Braun and his team of rocket scientists who developed the technology to propel men and materials into space, the Russian Cosmonauts and Chinese Taikonauts who helped fuel the competitive space race, plus humorous stories about the pranks and goofs the Mercury 7 enjoyed to pull on each other. Written by Ed Buckbee, a public affairs officer under Wernher von Braun who founded U.S. Space Camp and was personal friends with the Mercury 7, The Real Space Cowboys is a fitting tribute to the origins of manned space flight and the men who blazed that trail into the unknown. With the 50th Anniversary of the first Moon landing scheduled for July 20, 2019, now is the perfect time to reflect on these great pilots as future pioneers plan new adventures in space flight.
Rocket Boys (The Coalwood Series #1)
By: Homer Hickam
The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir that inspired the film October Sky, Rocket Boys is a uniquely American memoir—a powerful, luminous story of coming of age at the dawn of the 1960s, of a mother's love and a father's fears, of a group of young men who dreamed of launching rockets into outer space . . . and who made those dreams come true.With the grace of a natural storyteller, NASA engineer Homer Hickam paints a warm, vivid portrait of the harsh West Virginia mining town of his youth, evoking a time of innocence and promise, when anything was possible, even in a company town that swallowed its men alive. A story of romance and loss, of growing up and getting out, Homer Hickam's lush, lyrical memoir is a chronicle of triumph—at once exquisitely written and marvelously entertaining.Now with 8 pages of photographs.A number-one New York Times bestseller in mass market, brought to the screen in the acclaimed film October Sky, Homer Hickam's memoir, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, comes to trade paperback with an all-new photo insert.One of the most beloved bestsellers in recent years, Rocket Boys is a uniquely American memoir. A powerful, luminous story of coming of age at the end of the 1950s, it is the story of a mother's love and a father's fears, of growing up and getting out. With the grace of a natural storyteller, Homer Hickam looks back after a distinguished NASA career to tell his own true story of growing up in a dying coal town and of how, against the odds, he made his dreams of launching rockets into outer space come true.A story of romance and loss and a keen portrait of life at an extraordinary point in American history, Rocket Boys is a chronicle of triumph.
Shoot for the Moon: The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11
By: Donovan, James
The Smithsonian History of Space Exploration: From the Ancient World to the Extraterrestrial Future
By: Roger D. Launius
The first in-depth, fully illustrated history of global space discovery and exploration from ancient times to the modern eraThe Smithsonian History of Space Exploration is a comprehensive history of international space exploration paired with photographs, illustrations, graphics, and sidebars on key scientific and technological developments, influential figures, and pioneering spacecraft. Former NASA and Smithsonian space curator and historian Roger D. Launius presents human's endeavors to understand the universe, honoring millennia of human curiosity, ingenuity, and achievement.The book examines space exploration's origins in the pioneering work undertaken by the ancients of Greece, Rome, and China, and moves through the great discoveries of Renaissance thinkers including Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler. It offers new insight into well-known moments such as the launch of Sputnik 1 and the Apollo Moon landing and explores the unexpected events and hidden figures of space history.Presenting the technological and mechanical breakthroughs enabling humans to explore far beyond our own planet in recent decades, it also speculates on the future of space exploration, including space tourism and our possible future as an extraterrestrial species. This is a must-read for space buffs and everyone intrigued by the history and future of scientific discovery.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.