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