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Space Science

Moon Rocket Scrubbed and Blown Dry 305

Posted by Hemos
from the preseving-our-past dept.
loid_void writes "Reutersis is reporting that a giant Apollo moon rocket that never got off the ground is about to get a face-lift after years of rusting away in the Texas heat and humidity at the Johnson Space Center. Workers will construct a shelter for the Saturn V rocket and give it the equivalent of a "blow dry" in the first steps to preserve the relic of NASA's golden age, said Allan Needell, Apollo program curator for the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. The 363-foot-long behemoth has lain on its side in front of JSC since 1977, a favorite sight of tourists, but also a victim of the elements. Instead of launching astronauts to the moon as it was built to do, it has become a slowly fading hulk of peeling paint and corroded metal where birds live and plants sprout, Needell said on Wednesday during a visit to the rocket. "There's a lot of biology growing on there," he said, pointing out streaks of algae staining the rocket's white skin."
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Moon Rocket Scrubbed and Blown Dry

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 17, 2004 @06:06PM (#9457358)
    A similar effort is under way at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center [ussrc.com] in Huntsville, Alabama. In fact, they've created a special license plate to help raise funds. Otherwise, the Smithsonian has threatened to take the Saturn V back. (Which would certainly be an interesting sight.) You can see the license plate at the bottom of this page [state.al.us].
  • by Sounder40 (243087) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @06:09PM (#9457376)

    Thank goodness for kids like you, because I've lost hope of ever seeing space. As a kid, the goal of space travel for us all seemed so close. We were sending men to the moon all the time, so how long would it take until we could all go?

    As a kid, I grew up wanting to work at NASA like my dad. He worked at JSC (used to be "Manned" Space Center before being renamed after LBJ) from 1963 until 1990. I worked in and around JSC and Marshall Spaceflight Center in Huntsville, Al. for 15 years, and, believe me, a lot of the optimism is gone. It's become too much of a business run by big companies. With the appointment of Sean O'Keefe, I hope that things change. Time will tell.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 17, 2004 @06:14PM (#9457411)
    If you ever drive I-70 through eastern CO and KS, you'll see signs indicating that a community is the home of an astronaut. I always wondered if there was a skewed distribution of astronauts coming out of the rural areas.
  • Re:YES! (Score:3, Informative)

    by nanter (613346) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @06:18PM (#9457437)
    In Huntsville, Alabama, they have an old Saturn rocket that is displayed upright at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

    Quite a sight when flying in. You you weren't that much of a dweeb for thinking they would do the same with that rocket.

  • by Gunfighter (1944) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @06:21PM (#9457468) Homepage
    With most of the Saturn V rockets weathering away thanks to the elements, I can not stress what a difference it can make to actually go to the Kennedy Space Center and see the restored Saturn V inside the (air conditioned... thank heavens) Apollo/Saturn V Center. Not only do you get the to see the rocket itself, but they also have a full blown tour complete with a view of the launch pads and (for us geeks) the actual consoles used at launch control. Definitely worth a visit.

    Side note: If you stay in the Cocoa Beach area overnight, make sure you book yourself on the big casino cruise boat for that evening. Even if you don't gamble, it's free, fun, and the buffet rocks.

  • Re:Saturn V Engines (Score:3, Informative)

    by demonbug (309515) on Thursday June 17, 2004 @07:31PM (#9458147) Journal
    I was curious, so I looked up the output of the Shuttle's main engines compared to the Saturn V main engines.
    The shuttle's main engines [arizona.edu] produce a maximum of 488,000 pounds of thrust. The Saturn V main engines [si.edu] produced a total of 7.5 million pounds of thrust, or 1.5 million pounds per engine. So it looks like each engine on the Saturn V was about 3 times as powerful as each of the main engines on the shuttle.
    Oh, the solid rocket boosters [nasa.gov] on the shuttle each produce 3.3 million pounds of thrust.

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