HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The Rocket City’s iconic gateway to Huntsville-Madison County is getting a major and complicated sprucing up, all in preparation for a monumental anniversary in 2019. The Saturn V Rocket replica that welcomes you to Huntsville is getting a paint job to make sure it looks pristine for next year’s big birthday party.
The Saturn V Rocket is going to be power washed and repainted. It may sound simple but that power washing is expected to cost $1.3 million and take four months to complete.
The project is already underway. We were there when portions of the crane that the painters will use arrived. It’s taking eight flatbed tractor trailers to move the 300 ton crane from Birmingham. The Saturn 5 rocket is 363 feet tall, so it was a challenge to find a crane big enough for the job. Although this project is expensive, using a Crane is a lot cheaper then scaffolding.
Space and Rocket Center officials are starting this project now so it will be finished in time for the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that took America to the moon. The anniversary is in July.
"This is such an iconic landmark and basically represents the launching of the Apollo program and the moon landing, so it ties perfectly and that was very important to us, to get it done so it can shine brightly for all of us," said Space and Rocket Center Vice President Louis Ramirez.
The Saturn V rocket replica has been the focal point of the Huntsville skyline since 1999 and hasn’t been painted from top to bottom since then.