Jim Maser, president of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, was the first speaker:
It's really a pleasure and honor to be a sponsor of this great event, and I can
tell by looking at the audience that a lot of you are probably saying, "This
guy probably wasn't even born when Saturn was flying." I actually
was. [laughter] I was in grade school and I have to tell you a story about
1969 when the moon landing occurred. As with everyone, we were plastered
in front of the TV, watching every minute, and once we were on the moon,
there was actually a shot of the Earth. My dad looks over at me and says,
"Look, Jimmy, it's the Earth. Go outside and wave." [laughter]
I'm proud to say that I did not go outside and wave. [more laughter] But I
was, in fact, hooked on space from then on, and I have to tell you that it's a
great honor to be here as part of the Saturn/Apollo Reunion. Just to be
standing next to the Saturn V/Apollo vehicle, and to know that I'm running the
company that had 32 engines on that rocket. It's just incredibly impressive!
The F-1, one of the largest liquid engines ever built in the history of rocket
science, one and a half million pounds. Five of those on the first stage.
Seven and a half million pounds at liftoff thrust. It's an incredible rocket!
I really wish I had seen it launch, but I didn't.
But, I do get to see the shuttle launch. I go to every one. They're going to
launch through 2010, and if you haven't seen one, you have to get down to see
it, because it's incredible. It's a great experience.
We have three engines on that, and I'm really looking forward to the first
launch of the Ares program a few years after we retire the shuttle. That's got
our J-2 engine, which started on the Saturn V, five on the second stage and one
on the third, a newer version of that on the Ares upper stage, and Rocketdyne
products on the Ares V lay in the next decades.
It's a really exciting time. Larry referred to the people who worked on
Saturn V getting the next generation excited; well, that's me and I'm looking
forward to getting the next generation excited as we go to the Ares. I think
that's a great big part of this event.
But, all this talk about human spaceflight wouldn't be anything without talking
about humans, so it's really my pleasure to introduce to you the man who served
as pilot on Apollo 7 and he served with Wally Schirra and Donn Eisele back in
1968. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics from the
University of California Los Angeles, and prior to joining NASA he served as a
scientist with the Rand Corporation. In addition to working with NASA, he
served in the Navy and the US Marine Corps. Col. Cunningham's last assignment
at Johnson Space Center was chief of Skylab Branch of Flight Crew Directorate.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am honored to introduce to to you Col. Walter