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Huntsville travel guide — Huntsville tourism and travel information

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about Huntsville

Huntsville is a city located in Madison County, Alabama. As of the 2000 census, the population of the city is 158,216. The city is the county seat of Madison County. The current mayor is Loretta Spencer.

On September 8, 1960, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicated the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville (NASA had already activated the facility on July 1).

Huntsville, also home of the Redstone Arsenal and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, is better known as the "Rocket City," due to its long time history with U.S. space missions. Huntsville has been a key piece in space technology development since the 1950s, when a group of German scientists headed by Dr. Wernher von Braun developed the first rockets for the U.S Army. Their work there included design of the Redstone ballistic missile (a variant of which, the Jupiter-C, took the U.S. first satellite and astronauts into space) and the Saturn V, the rocket utilized by the Apollo program manned moon missions. Huntsville continues to play a key role in the United States' space shuttle and International Space Station programs; it is estimated that 1 in 13 of Huntsville's population are employed in some engineering line of work.

Huntsville is also the location of the U.S. Army Missile Command (MICOM). Huntsville's contributions to United States Cold War missile armament and technology earned it a "red star" designation as a target of the Soviet Union in the event of a nuclear exchange, fourth behind only New York City, Washington, DC, and NORAD.

Before Huntsville earned the moniker "Rocket City" along with its rapid growth, it was known as the Watercress Capital of the World. Watercress grew along the stream from the Big Spring downtown.

Huntsville geography

Huntsville is located at 34°42' North, 86°35' West (34.7, -86.6).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 451.8 km² (174.4 mi²). 450.8 km² (174.1 mi²) of it is land and 1.0 km² (0.4 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.22% water.

The main north-south route through Huntsville is US highway 231, Memorial Parkway. Locals call it "The Parkway." Interstate highway 565 runs east-west, as does University Drive/Pratt Ave/Bankhead Parkway, US highway 72. Alabama State Highway 53 runs northwest out of the city. US highway 431 runs southeast from the city.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Huntsville, Alabama".

This city is also known as: Huntsville.

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