Since 2004, the U.S. Space & Rocket
Center has held an annual Saturn/Apollo Reunion. Initially held to held
draw attention to the Saturn V
restoration effort, it has proven popular and continues to this day.
The 2004 U.S.
Space & Rocket Center Annual Report [direct link to 1 meg PDF] contained
the following item regarding that first reunion:
Saturn/Apollo Reunion Draws Crowd
It was billed as "a reunion of the individuals and community responsible for
putting mankind on the moon and fundraiser for the rocket that took us there."
The first-ever Saturn/Apollo Reunion held Saturday, June 19, 2004, exceeded the
hopes of all involved.
The Saturn V Special Events Committee had hoped to attract a crowd of about 500
and to raise awareness of the campaign while breaking even financially. As food
ran low and seating scarce, it became evident that they had underestimated the
appeal of such an event. With Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Dr. George
Mueller, head of NASA's Manned Space Flight Office from 1969-1971, as
headliners, the event drew a crowd of more than 600 and raised $11,755 for the
Saturn V Restoration.
In addition to the funds raised for the project, the reunion set in motion a
groundswell of support from NASA veterans. In the days and weeks that followed
the event, heart-felt e-mails and letters of thanks poured in from those who
worked on the Saturn V, expressing their gratitude not only for our efforts
to restore the rocket but also for remembering their contributions to the
space program in such a special way.
Prior to its cancellation by President
Obama, the Saturn/Apollo reunions also featured speakers involved in the
Ares program supporting Constellation.
At the 2009 Reunion, it was announced that
the event would be renamed "Space Exploration Celebration" effective in 2010.