HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - At 7:30 Friday morning, rock music played in the atrium of the Propst Arena at the Von Braun Center. Some 250 people turned out to a breakfast held by Downtown Huntsville Inc.
Attendees passed by a 30-foot inflatable SLS rocket set up at the entrance. SLS program manager Todd May was the keynote speaker for the event.
He spoke after DHI Chief Executive Officer Chad Emerson presented several awards recognizing businesses in downtown Huntsville. The Belk Hudson Lofts was named the 2012-2013 Downtown Huntsville Project of the Year. The Greene Street Market at Nativity was named the 2012-2013 Downtown Huntsville Event of the Year. And Marie Bostick, the city's manager of Planning Administration, was selected as the 2012-2013 Downtown Huntsville Advocate of the Year.
Emerson then announced a 'Blue Sky' idea, which was a creative suggestion of how to improve the center of the city: The Downtown Huntsville Connector. It would be a transport system conveniently connecting several areas in the center of the city.
Emerson encouraged attendees to submit creative ideas, even though they may not be able to come to fruition immediately.
May, who's from Fairhope, spoke about the SLS Heavy Launch Rocket project, saying, "If you're going to explore, you need a ship." He told the audience that SLS is a very capable ship that will be taller than the Statue of Liberty and will be able to take crews to the moon, asteroids and further.
May described the missions crews want to send into space with the SLS, including visits to the moon and Mars.
Downtown Huntsville Inc. is a non-profit organization set up in February 2013 and seeks to promote the center part of the city.