Apollo celebration dinner joyful, but at times in the dark

Apollo celebration dinner joyful, but at times in the dark

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Like the Apollo missions of old, Tuesday’s celebration dinner faced no shortage of challenges.

Power went out at the Davidson Center twice, causing a stoppage in the scheduled programming.

However, the dinner, live music and merriment continued without a hitch.

When the power was restored, speakers honored the members of the Saturn V rocket team who crafted the machine that sent the Apollo 11 astronauts to the moon.

Former NASA engineer Gray Settle said the night brought back memories of great teamwork.

“It’s so exciting to see people who worked, for example, on the lunar rover, to be so excited still about what they did on that vehicle,” he said.

Governor Kay Ivey, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Director Jody Singer and Dr. Margrit von Braun (Wernher von Braun’s daughter) among others spoke to the hundreds in attendance, honoring the Apollo era but also looking toward the future.

NASA’s stated goals are to return to the moon and ultimately send men to Mars, something Skylab astronaut Ed Gibson said the organization may now have the resources to do.

“I think we’ve got some inertia going now with the Trump administration, to go back to the moon by 2024, and then on to Mars. I hope that inertia can continue, politics aside, " Gibson said.

"Let’s see if we can’t have some continuity here.”

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