Here I am at the Saturn test stand at Marshall Space Flight Center. This stand was built to test the cluster of five 1.5 million-pound-thrust F-1 engines that powered the moon rocket.

It’s 310 feet to the top. From up there you can see all of Huntsville. Rocketeer Tim Pickens pointed out the mountain ridge 10 miles away where his family home shook on its foundations when a test-fire was in progress.

The stand saw duty testing Space Shuttle Main Engines and then Atlas rockets before falling silent in the late 1990s. Engineers are refurbishing it for NASA’s new moon shot.

This place is holy ground for rocketeers. Wernher von Braun, architect of project Apollo, rode the very elevator that took us to the top, walked these scaffolds. Pickens says he still gets a buzz off the energy of the place.