USSRC Saturn V Restoration Site Index
Saturn V Center Groundbreaking Gallery

Larry Capps

The master of ceremony was USSRC CEO Larry Capps. Here are his introductory remarks:

I'm Larry Capps, of the US Space & Rocket Center. How are all of you?

On behalf of the members of the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission, which is the governing body of the US Space and Rocket Center, I want to welcome you to this official groundbreaking ceremony for the Saturn V Visitor Complex and the Intermodal Center. I put the word on, "official," because as all of you can see, out back of me, we are already at work. Thanks to help from Mike Gillespie, the Madison County commissioner of the Madison County public works department, site preparation for this complex is well under way.

The facility will become the new arrival zone for the US Space & Rocket Center, and this project is really two building projects: One is an intermodal transportation center, which will be a stop on the Huntsville tourist loop. This facility is funded through a Federal Transit Administration grant. The second building, or the second project, will house the Saturn V rocket that currently lies in Rocket Park, several hundred yards in back of me. By next spring, the foundation and three walls of the Saturn V Building will be in place, and we will move the rocket. Marshall Space Flight Center will assist with the logistics of transporting this national historic landmark to its new home. Once the rocket is inside the building, the west wall will be constructed.

Inside the building, the Saturn V rocket will be 10 feet above the floor level at its lowest point. The floor space beneath the rocket will be available for conferences, for special events, and for night functions. And I think one of the most appealing aspects of the building will be the glass wall on this side, the north side, and you can see it from I-565. And we'll have it lit at night, similar to the vertical Saturn V. We believe this building will be a spectacular addition to the landscape of the city of Huntsville. And you can see on my right, over here, some of the artists' concepts of what the building will look like. One is kind of a bird's eye view. The others are, one looking from the north and one is looking from the west.

I want to thank all of you for being here to help us celebrate this very special occasion. We have a number of elected officials and others in the audience and we'd like to recognize them. [A list of Huntsville and Madison city, county, state, and federal officials; the commanding general of the US Army Aviation and Missile Command and his wife; members of the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission; Dorothy Davidson, who with her husband Julian, are sponsoring tonight's third annual Saturn/Apollo Reunion, which will follow this groundbreaking; various members of the Saturn V Executive Committee; a Marshall representative; representatives of the construction and architect firms ; and several others].

And we have some very special guests: We have Dr. George Mueller and his wife, Darla. Dr. Mueller led the program that put Americans on the moon as head of the Apollo manned spaceflight program. He was the originator of Skylab, the world's first space station, and he's acknowledge to be the father of the space shuttle.

We also have astronaut Richard Gordon. Dick has two major space flights; one was Gemini XI in 1966 and the other was Apollo 12, when he, Charles Conrad, and Alan Bean flew to the moon and back on November 14, 1969.

And next we have astronaut Walter Cunningham and his wife Dorothy. Walt flew as pilot on the Apollo 7 mission, which was the first manned flight test of the third generation United States spacecraft.

Dr. Mueller, Dick Gordon, and Walt Cunningham will be joining us as speakers at this evening's third annual Saturn/Apollo Reunion.

And now, Mr. Calvin Drake will set the tone for us as he sings the national anthem. It is my pleasure to welcome Calvin. Thank you.

[ Singing of the National Anthem ]

In my introductions a moment ago, I failed to mention that astronaut Owen Garriott is here. Owen, please stand.

Let me introduce Jim Flinn. He's the vice chair of the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission. The commission's members are all appointed by the governor, and it is the governing body of the US Space and Rocket Center.

Jim ...

Larry Capps
Time picture taken Sat Jul 15 17:10:23 2006
File name dsc18651.jpg
Location picture taken West Parking Lot
US Space & Rocket Center
Huntsville, AL
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