This site is owned and operated by a private individual and is in no way officially associated with any State of Alabama entity. Some information provided here is from personal notes and all comments are my own.
In 1999 I became a volunteer at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and ended up leaving in 2003 as a full-time employee. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is a place where I have always wanted to be since I was a kid. Every year my aunt would make a trip to the center a routine Christmas gift to me. My grandmother and family helped me save up enough money to attend Space Camp when I was going into the 6th grade. It was one of the greatest experiences of my childhood.
As you can tell the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is more than just a museum and camp to me. I am one of the lucky people who for years got to see kids’ eyes light up time after time they walked through the doors. Everyone has had those moments where we have wondered what it is like to live and work in zero-g and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center brings people about as close as you can get with your feet still on the ground.
Employees of the ‘Sprocket’ have gone through good and bad times at the center. I still have a lot of friends and even people I consider family at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. I remember the fear and rumors that ran rapidly around the center during times of budget issues. In the past, former CEO’s and the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission (ASSEC) have done a less than stellar job relaying information to employees and supporters about center operations Most relied heavily on The Huntsville Times and local TV stations to tell us what was going on during some of the worst situations. I still remember the day that layoffs after a former CEO lied to the commission about donations. During when an unannounced layoff occurred, a local TV station was in the parking lot trying to interview people as they left. They knew what was going on before the employees did.
The primary mission of this website to bring what is to publish public information concerning the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission and to provide my commentary on the decisions made as an avid supporter. My ever evolving secondary mission is to provide information about aerospace news that hits home to the “Rocket Valley” (i.e. Huntsville, Decatur, and the surrounding area).
I hope that the members of the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission pay close attention to the following programs/ideas and suggestions that are of personal interest to me and several others.
- Re-evaluate the admission prices and adjust so that a 4 person family can visit the museum for less than $50.
- Re-establish a true museum department that handles nothing but museum functions reporting to a Sr. VP of Museum Operations. <– UPDATE 2018: This appears to have taken place.
- Limit traveling exhibits to science-related topics and stop the up-charge program. <– UPDATE 2018: Traveling exhibits are more STEM based and the upcharge program has gone away.
- Update the Space Camp, Aviation Challenge and USSRC website to a more interactive website that is better geared towards the age range that is trying to be reached. Maybe a site designed for kids and one for parents.
- Suggest ASSEC look at the next step of Aerospace Programs. With the privatization of space travel on the horizon now should be the time to start looking at creating a program to train real private astronauts.
- Replace the Space Camp Registration system <– UPDATE 2017: Appears that the camp registration has moved to a more cost-effective platform.
- Suggest the ASSEC create a Licensing Committee or designate one of the current committees to be a part of any negotiations.
- Suggest ASSEC create a dedicated ASSEC website with full access to all minutes and documents presented at their public meetings.
- Suggest ASSEC do as other federal/state and local agencies/boards and commissions and include a public comment agenda item.
- Hold full ASSEC meetings in the late afternoons and invite employees to attend. In the past employees were told not to attend these public meetings by past leaders.
Thank you and if you have any suggestions or comments leave them below or e-mail me at [email protected].