Jeff Chenevey of Accenture was the first guest speaker. Here are his remarks:
Thanks, Larry. It's a pleasure to be here representing Accenture today.
It is certainly our honor to sponsor today's event and pay tribute to the
men and women of NASA.
Like you, I can't wait to see the rocket start rolling, slowly but surely, into
its new home today.
My family and I came here three years ago in a move that seems pretty small
compared to what we're about to see today, but we truly enjoy living here and
being part of this vibrant and active community. In fact, my two oldest boys
just finished Space Camp last week on this location, and so my commitment to
the future of space travel is growing stronger every day.
By working so closely with NASA, I've come to appreciate the pride and
commitment that goes into their work. I see that same level of pride and
commitment in the work that's been done over the past six years that NASA and
Accenture have been working together. Our contribution here is very
down-to-earth: We work with NASA to help its administrative systems perform
more efficiently. While that doesn't necessarily put people on the moon, it
certainly does help NASA run more smoothly as a business. More importantly,
while we focus on the business side, it allows more people at NASA to focus all
their attention on the key mission, to further America's vast lead in space.
I was only a child when a Saturn V like this one first sent men to the moon.
I don't remember first-hand the drama and excitement of those days, but I
certainly do appreciate and honor with you today the success this rocket
represents and the achievement of the people who built and tested it.
From a standpoint of engineering, performance, and reliability, the Saturn V is
an American masterpiece. So Accenture salutes you for the work you've done and
continue to do for our country. We hope future visitors will see the Saturn V
as a major contributor to Huntsville's great legacy, not just to the space
program, but to the government and businesses that made it a success, a system
that had to work perfectly every time, and did.
Thank you very much.
Thank you Jeff. We appreciate you and your team being here today and thanks
again to Accenture.
Since the beginning of time, men and women have looked at the moon and dreamed
of going there, landing there, and exploring there. The United States did,
thanks to the rocket designed and tested here in Huntsville, Alabama. The
Saturn V rocket launched Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin on
their historic mission to the moon and to the lunar landing on July 20, 1969.
During a seven year period, thirteen Saturn V vehicles were launched, performing
successfully in all missions. Today, our Saturn V, the one behind me, is not
just a historic landmark, but is also being used as a reference point as the
United States focuses on future missions to the moon and Mars. In recent
months, those engineers working on the design of the Ares I and Ares V rockets,
the rockets that will power the return to the moon, those engineers have
visited the Space and Rocket Center to inspect materials and the configuration
of the very first moon rocket.
We are delighted that the Saturn V, 500-D/F, the test rocket and pathfinder for
the program has been preserved and will soon be completely restored. The
Davidson Saturn V Center will be attached to a Federal Transit Administration
building and together the two buildings form a $22 million project that will
become the new front door for the US Space & Rocket Center.
This complex will not only highlight Huntsville's achievement with the
Saturn/Apollo program, but will also be a realtime showcase for the
Constellation Program, particularly the Ares launch vehicles.
The preservation and recaptured spirit of Huntsville's aerospace roots will
forever be displayed for the rest of the world and future generations to behold
as NASA's next generation of space exploration continues on a path back to the
moon and on to Mars.
At this time I'd like to thank NASA Marshall Space Flight Center for their
tireless assistance with the Saturn V restoration project and for Marshall's
help in coordinating the Saturn V move. Nearly 300 tons of history is about
to begin a historic movement. And it's not as easy as it might look [laughter].
Many of you sitting in the audience today are rocket boys and girls who
designed, developed, tested, and built the world's first Saturn V. Your legacy
continues in a new generation of rocketeers who are working today at NASA.
It is now my pleasure to introduce an Alabama rocket boy who was named Deputy
Director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in May 2007. A Montevallo,
Alabama native, Robert Lightfoot received a mechanical engineering degree from
the University of Alabama and began his career at the Marshall Space Flight
Center as a test engineer and program manager for the space shuttle main engine
program as a technology testbed and the Russian RD-180 engine testing program
for the Atlas launch vehicle program.
He was later named deputy division chief of Marshall's Propulsion Test
Division. At NASA's Stennis Space Center, he served as Chief of Propulsion,
Test Operations, and was later named Director of the Stennis Propulsion Test
In Washington DC Mr. Lightfoot served as Assistant Associate Administrator for
the space shuttle program in the Office of Space Operations.
He came back to Alabama in 2005, serving as manager of the Space Shuttle
Propulsion Office at Marshall. He and his wife, Catherine, have two children
and currently live in Huntsville.
Ladies and gentleman, I am honored to present to you Robert Lightfoot.