Redstone Arsenal (RSA) is a United States Army post and a census-designated place (CDP) adjacent to Huntsville in Madison County, Alabama, United States, and is part of the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. The Arsenal is a garrison for various tenants across the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and NASA. RSA has benefited from decisions by the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The Redstone Arsenal CDP had a residential population of 837 as of the 2020 census. The base contains a government and contractor workforce that averages 36,000 to 40,000 personnel daily.
Established during World War II as a chemical manufacturing facility, in the immediate post-war era, the Arsenal was used for research and development by German weapons rocket scientists who were brought to the U.S. as part of Operation Paperclip. The team first worked on ballistic missiles, starting with V-2 rocket derivatives, before moving on to a series of ever-larger designs. Many of their tests were carried out at White Sands Missile Range and flights between the two locations were common. In late 1956 the Army was relieved of most of its ballistic missiles in favor of similar weapons operated by the US Air Force.
The German design team was spun off to become part of the newly founded National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Cold War had moved to space, and the US intended to compete with the Soviet Union there as well as across the globe. The Arsenal served as the primary site for space launch vehicle design into the 1960s.