Power outages interrupt Apollo 11 50th anniversary dinner

Two outages have left guests in the dark at Tuesday night's celebratory dinner.

Posted: Jul 16, 2019 8:21 PM
Updated: Jul 19, 2019 10:31 PM

Two power outages have left guests in the dark at Tuesday night's Apollo 11 50th anniversary dinner at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. 

The outages caused the celebration to come to brief pauses during the night. Luckily, power is back on now.

Photo: Kody Fisher

Pat Ammons with the Space and Rocket Center said there was a nearby outage. A spokesperson for Huntsville Utilities, Joe Gehrdes, said he is not aware of any outages.

Despite being in the dark, hundreds of people waited patiently to remember the historic milestone. Several people joked that the outage was to test the Saturn V rocket engineers that were in attendance.

Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin was not able to make it to the event, but several other astronauts described what it was like to be a part of the missions to the moon.

Apollo 10 Astronaut, General Tom Stafford, told WAAY 31 the rocket launch itself was just as scary as getting to the moon, "that booster is one of the biggest risks right there," said Stafford.

Even though Stafford never set foot on the moon, like Neil Armstrong did, he was close enough to see details many of us won't ever get the chance to, "the moon would make a great beach if it had any water on it," said Stafford.

As hundreds at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center were serenaded by the artist who won the Music From the Moon competition, Maiah Wynne,  their thoughts were drawn back to Huntsville's role in the mission, "I was here during the early days. I felt the ground shake when we tested the rockets here back when I was in elementary school," said Harold Brewer.

Brewer is now the Chairman of Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation, which is an aerospace engineering company. He said Huntsville will continue to play a huge role in the next trip to the moon and other space exploration beyond those missions, "lot of design and development, integration and testing. We have unique facilities here," said Brewer.

Apollo era astronauts said this 50th anniversary will kick start interest in space again, "I think that you're going to see that there's going to be some acceleration in the space program if they get the funding through congress," said retired Apollo Astronaut Colonel Al Worden.

The Apollo astronauts also said they anticipate the next trip to the moon will inspire young kids to get involved in science technology math and engineering, just like the apollo missions did.

Check out more of our Apollo 11 50th anniversary stories here. To watch our Apollo 11 specials, click here and here.

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