Dr. George Mueller then addressed the crowd:
Thank you ever so much. It's a tremendous pleasure for me to be with you all
this evening to celebrate the groundbreaking
for the new Saturn V exhibit hall. I was amazed at how much money you
raised and also surprised by how much more you had to go [laughter]. But it
only takes about a thousand people to contribute $1,000 and you'll be over the
The Apollo program has been characterized as the greatest technological feat in
the history of civilization. Its accomplishment required the dedication and
the efforts of some 400,000 people in all the parts of the US government and
its contractor spectrum, and to the vision enunciated by President Kennedy;
the creation of an entirely new class of space vehicles; the development
of the new science of the moon; and the understanding of man's ability to
live and work in space.
I think it's appropriate on this occasion to remember the leaders who made the
Saturn V a reality. Here at Marshall Space Flight Center, there was Wernher
von Braun, Eberhard Rees, Lee James, and Arthur Rudolf who lead the Saturn
team. And then there were all the support people like Konnie [Konrad Dannenberg] and ... the name escapes me
... he's an old friend, Stuhliger, Ernst Stuhliger; and at KSC, at the other
end of this device, there was Kurt Debus, Rocco Petrone, David Jones, and Rod
Middleton, who led the launch team. And then there was the leader of leaders
at headquarters, Sam Philips. General Philips was the man who pulled it all
together and made it real.
But, it was 250,000 people who made up the teams they led, consisting of many
of you here this evening, who really created the Saturn V. I salute you all.
Perhaps the greatest praise that I can give to you who were part of that team
is to say that you have proven with the ease that comes of long, hard work,
what we all instinctively knew and, working together proved, in 1969: that man
can successfully travel to another another planet, live, work there, and return
But we cannot continue to live in the past. Some of you will remember our
grand vision, some forty years ago, of a space transportation system that
would make travel to the moon and Mars routine. It would establish a colony
and, with one of its missions, the provisions and materials for the
establishment of outposts and colonies on Mars.
As I turned the earth at this groundbreaking for the new crypt for Saturn V,
this magnificent machine that took us to the moon, I could not help but
remember that this vehicle, or one like it, was one of the key components of
that vision of the future. Sadly, we have lost the means to reproduce it
today. It is ironic that, for the amounts of funds we have spent on space
activities in the past thirty years, we could have implemented that grand
vision. We could today have a colony on the moon and could have outposts on
But today we have a president who has embraced that vision; a president
who has said we will meet our obligations to our partners on the International
Space Station with a new generation of vehicles; a president who has committed
the nation to develop a new exploration system by 2020, capable of establishing
a lunar base; and a president who has established a goal of using the moon as a
stepping stone to Mars.
If we, as a nation, will support that vision, then I might live to see the
first man on Mars.
Thank you all very much.