Greatest Space Generation
The Greatest Space Generation is the story of the scientists, engineers, managers, and skilled workers who created the Saturn rocket—a magnificent space machine—to take American astronauts to the Moon. It’s about those who came to Huntsville, Alabama, because of the work underway at Redstone Arsenal and later, Marshall Space Flight Center. They were the trailblazers for both missile defense and peaceful exploration of outer space.

These pages reveal what it was like to be a rocket scientist working on cutting edge technology in space sciences, guidance and control, fabrication and quality control. Engineers who conducted the fire-and-smoke test firings at the Marshall Space Flight Center recount how they made it thunder in Rocket City. Some will describe what it was like to work or grow up with rocketeers. Others will reflect on their career and what the rocket program gave in return. It took German vision plus American initiative to beat the Russians to the Moon.

Ed Buckbee is vested in the hopes, dreams and realization of manned space flight. Launched in a career with the U.S. Army’s ballistic missiles program, his aspirations took a steep and rapid rise as the public relations lead under rocket pioneer Dr. Wernher von Braun. At the fledgling NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, he created media and public messaging to support both the pace of von Braun’s vision and President Kennedy’s promise to land man on the Moon.

A passionate torchbearer, Buckbee was tapped by von Braun in 1970 as the first chief executive at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Here, he assembled the world’s largest collection of space hardware and convened the talent to design and execute a premier spaceflight experience to become known as Space Camp®. Featuring hands-on astronaut training simulations, this youth program aimed to inspire the next generation of space flyers.

Item #001689