Search is on for New Space & Rocket Center Chief

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center shows off America’s space success story. Photo courtesy of Alabama Tourism Department

Huntsville’s space community launched a new search Thursday, but rather than extraterrestrial life, the goal is a new CEO and executive director for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

Deborah Barnhart resigned at the end of December after nine years at the helm of the Center.

The Rocket Center — a Smithsonian affiliate — houses the world’s largest collection of space artifacts, among them the National Historic Landmark Saturn V rocket and the Apollo 16 space capsule. The associated Space Camp draws participants from around the world. Combined, the attractions rank the Center consistently among the biggest tourist draws in Alabama.

The Center is also the official visitor center for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and a Tennessee Valley Authority visitor center.

The new director needs “a passion for inspiring the next generation of explorers, as well as a compelling vision for the future of the Center,” plus a knowledge of aerospace and defense industries and the skills to manage a multi-million-dollar operation. Basics are strong communications skills and a bachelor’s degree.

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Complete information about the position is available at

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