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U.S. Space and Rocket Center repainting rusting rocket

A 300 ton crane was brought into the U.S. Space and Rocket Center to help paint the Saturn V rocket during the next four months.

Posted: Dec. 5, 2018 6:14 PM
Updated: Dec. 6, 2018 1:46 PM

The massive rocket on the side of Interstate 565 in Huntsville is going to be repainted. The nearly 400 foot tall rocket will get revamped for about $1.3 million.

A 300 ton crane was brought into the U.S. Space and Rocket Center to help paint the Saturn V rocket during the next
four months. The center told us it's important to take care of the Huntsville landmark that's seen by nearly everyone who visits the area.

"It basically represents the launching of the Apollo program and the moon landing," said Louis Ramirez the CFO and Vice President of the center.

The current rocket is rusting and hasn't been repainted since it was put up in 1999, so the center started looking at repainting it about a year and a half ago. Nearly 300 gallons of specialized paint will be needed for the rocket that sits beside interstate 565.

"We use it all the time on big bridges, roller coasters and bridges for that fact," said Dana Chambers with PPG.

She's a color and design manager for the company that donated the $60,000 worth of paint for the rocket and said it should last at least 10 years.The paint job will include priming, painting and sealing it and is expected to be finished in April.

"When the wind kicks up and you're up there pretty high they won't be able to paint. W hen the temperature gets below a certain degree they won't be able to paint so that's why we've timed it to a four month period," said Chambers.

The project costs $1.3 million dollars and the Space and Rocket Center is looking for donations. Anyone who donates at least $1,000 dollars will get a chance to repaint a part of the rocket.

The center said the project should be done in time for the 50th anniversary celebration it will be holding for the Apollo 11 landing in July.

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