Yes…you read the title correctly!
Let us explain…We were heading toward Tupelo MS to visit friends and decided to route through Huntsville AL to visit the US Space & Rocket Center. The main reason we wanted to visit this facility was to lay eyes on the MQF (Mobile Quarantine Facility), built by Airstream for NASA to use during the Apollo missions to the moon. There is a small RV park right on the property and the plan was to settle in and tour the center the following day.
Octoberfest in September = AWESOME!
After setting up camp we looked over the info packet we were given at check in and learned that on Thursday afternoons in Sept & Oct. the Space & Rocket Center hosts an “Octoberfest” night inside the Davidson Center for Space Exploration building. It was only $5 per person and it was held in the building that housed the MQF. It could not be more perfect!
This is a HUGE building and hovering above you when you walk in is a Saturn 5 Rocket! There were beer stations staged in a few places, a large selection of German inspired food and plenty of tables to relax. It was very cool to walk in and around the NASA exhibits while sipping a cold beer!
The Mobile Quarantine Facility on display here is one of 3 that Airstream built for NASA with the specific use of keeping the Astronauts comfortable while they were quarantined after returning from the moon. No one was sure if they would be bringing back some space germs to Earth, so straight into the MQF they were placed as soon as they were plucked from the ocean! You can see them looking out the front window of the MQF at the bottom of the newspaper image below.
Looking through this window into the past…
These next few pictures we took through the window they looked out of in the above image. It was really cool to take a look into the past of what was at that time some of best man made technology available!
In a previous Blog post we shared about our amazing trip up to the Airstream factory over Memorial Day weekend to be one of 50 Airstream owners to tour their new Heritage Center museum and travel trailer factory in Jackson Center OH. There was a great presentation on the MQF during that visit with never before seen footage of this unique Airstream inspired NASA vessel in action. We are so glad we made the trip to Huntsville AL to see this one in person! Having the cool experience of visiting in the evening, over a few beers and under a very BIG rocket, was something we did not expect but feel made it even more special.
We hope you enjoyed this quick look at what we believe is one of the most unique products ever made by Airstream. If you are ever in the Huntsville AL area, we feel it’s a must see! By the way, we drank a few beers, ate a soft pretzel, toured the exhibits for a few hours and then rushed back to our Airstream to host an evening online event! It was a fun, one of a kind evening!
My Dad was the area ground safety officer there when he was in the Army. I got to see a lot when we lived in Huntsville, back when it was called the Redstone Arsenal. It even snowed 16″ on us while we were there! Can’t wait to go back and see what the old place looks like now 60+ years later!