Restoration of Saturn V begins

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – If you’ve ever driven through Huntsville, you’ve probably seen the Saturn V replica. After years of braving the elements and being outside in the heat and the cold, the rocket is starting to show a little bit of wear and tear, which is why the U.S. Space and Rocket Center is giving it a makeover.

“Other cities may have a skyline, but we have a spaceline,” said Louis Ramirez, VP and CFO of the USSRC.

The Space and Rocket Center has officially begun the $1.3 million restoration and employees say this is long overdue.

The Rocket center has contracted Birmingham Steel Erectors to paint the rocket and PPG is providing the specialized paint for the project.

“We’ve been in a long-standing relationship with The Space and Rocket Center and when we heard about this project and after the first conversation we had with Dr. Barnhart we were extremely interested just because of the significance to the city,” said Tom Meyer, plant manager for PPG in Huntsville.

The 363 foot tall Saturn V will be power washed, sealed, and painted top to bottom with a polysiloxane paint that should last at least ten years.

“It’s never been painted in total before. From my understanding, it’s been painted part way up but it’s never been repainted completely,” Ramirez.

The restoration process is estimated to last four months and the project will be done just in time for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

The Space and Rocket center is asking for donations to help fund the restoration, and if you donate $1,000 or more you’ll have the opportunity to help paint the lower portion of the Saturn Five. You can donate on the Space and Rocket Center’s website.