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Inspired Space

July 17, 2019

Born in 1958, at the beginning of the Space Race, I always knew that I was destined to play a small part of it.

Initially, I thought I was invited to a simple breakfast celebrating the grand opening of one of my inspirations known as The Castle of Miracles, part of the Give Kids the World Foundation (GKTW) in Kissimmee, FL.

Castle

The Castle of Miracles, Kissimmee, FL

It was May, 1994 and I’d received a personal invitation from my dear friend and founder of GKTW, Henri Landwirth. So, I packed up my 1-year-old daughter, Charlotte, and headed west towards Kissimmee. Greeted at the door by Mr. Landwirth himself, we were ushered to the table where we would be having breakfast.

One of my life’s greatest surprises lay ahead.

As we got closer to our designated table, I started recognizing the people who sat around it: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, Wally Schirra, John Glenn, Deke Slayton and Alan Shepard. Yes, 6 of the 7 original Gemini astronauts were at my table!  You can just imagine my surprise and delight, and the conversation over bacon and eggs that morning was, pardon the pun, absolutely out of this world!

This incredible meeting furthered my interest in space and led to an assignment at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. Our company, IDEA, Inc., was engaged to rebrand and redefine the future of the rocket center. As part of that rebranding, we discovered the center had, in their possession, a complete Saturn V rocket. Our concept was to display one of the world’s most important artifacts as it would have stood upon its launchpad in 1969, taking man to the moon.

Saturn V 4

Saturn V under construction

Not only did we inspire the board of the USSRC to pursue this dynamic exhibit but it has served as an inspiration throughout my lifetime, as well as the lives of others on our team, that we were a small part of this historic exhibit.

I would encourage anyone interested in space travel to visit Huntsville, stand at the base of the iconic Saturn V, and dream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. Barry W Deal permalink
    July 17, 2019 10:48 pm

    Hugh,

    Thanks for sharing…beyond cool. I can imagine the surreal state of your emotions that morning and how special the memory as you reflect today.

    I had the good fortune in 1994 to meet with Senator Glenn in his office for about 10 minutes in my capacity of lobbyist to discuss Sugar legislation proposed in the ‘95 Farm Bill. We had beet sugar operations in Findlay so I was introduced by his Chief of Staff as a constitute. I will never forget how gracious he was and my feeling being totally awestruck.

    Thanks for sharing and also spurring a special memory.

    Barry W Deal

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