On this day in Alabama history: Marshall Space Flight Center opened in Huntsville

On this day in Alabama history: Marshall Space Flight Center opened in Huntsville
(13 March 1978) --- The space shuttle orbiter 101 Enterprise approaches riding atop its 747 carrier aircraft, arrives at the Redstone Arsenal airstrip near Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), Huntsville, Alabama, on March 13, 1978. It is to undergo ground vibration tests along with the external tank and solid rocket boosters, in preparation for Orbiter Flight Tests (OFT) in which its successor craft (Orbiter 102) will take several two-man crews into Earth orbit. (Photo credit: NASA)

July 1, 1960

NASA opened the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. Led by director Wernher von Braun, MSFC became NASA’s propulsion research center and, in the 1960s, developed the rockets that sent Americans to space and to the moon. Over the years, MSFC has diversified its research specializations and participated in a variety of NASA programs, including developing the Skylab space station, the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. In 2011, the center began developing the Space Launch Systems initiative to provide next-generation propulsion for manned missions to other parts of Earth’s solar system.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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