It’s not every
day the public can step into the world of rocket scientists, meet an
astronaut, or take a sky-dive simulation ride. Yet these are just a
few of the free, out-of-this-world experiences on tap Saturday, May
20, when NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.,
opens its doors from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Visitors will get a closeup look behind the scenes of the Marshall
Center’s high-tech research and development complex.

At NASA’s premier center for space transportation and propulsion
systems, they’ll see it does take a rocket scientist to make possible
the wonders of America’s space program, such as the Marshall-managed
X-vehicle demonstrators aimed at making space travel more reliable and

Another such wonder — a mammoth Saturn V rocket capable of
launching humans to the Moon — was conceived at Marshall. Miniature
versions of that rocket and others will be featured in a special show
on the history of rocketry.

Open House visitors also will hear the powerful rumble and see
billows of exhaust plume when witnessing live test firings at the Hot
Gas Facility.

NASA astronauts will be on-hand to mingle with the public, sign
autographs, and even provide musical entertainment. Also on the
entertainment roster are dance exhibitions, local radio personalities
and miniature pedal planes for children.

For those seeking the thrill of skydiving, the X-Treme(TM) Air
simulator will send them in a “free fall.” Another attraction, the
Morphis(TM) MovieRide Theater simulator, will let visitors “journey”
to Mars, shoot down a ski slope or fly with the Navy’s Blue Angels
aerial performance team.

Maps of the Marshall Center will be distributed to visitors as
they enter. Souvenirs, food and refreshments will be available for

Marshall’s last open house in 1998 was attended by more than
26,000 people.

More information and directions can be obtained 24 hours a day by
calling 888/901-NASA or by visiting the Open House Web site at: