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A piece of history found

Published: Sep. 20, 2007 at 10:37 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2007 at 10:19 PM CDT
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A piece of history thought to be lost is now found and should soon be on display for all to see.

WAFF 48 News Reporter Tory Dunnan takes us to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for a look at this NASA relic.

The Apollo 12 Mobile Quarantine Facility is where Apollo 12 astronauts lived in isolation after returning from the moon.

"The quarantine units were used because when we went to the moon, we didn't know if there was germs or whatever on the moon and so they put them in the quarantine unit," says Assistant Curator James Willhite.

The unit's whereabouts: a mystery until now.

There are indications NASA gave the trailer to the Center for Disease Control to take scientists back into the U.S. after exposure to a virus in Africa.

Then it was reported the Georgia Department of Forestry got it and the trailer burned down.

Last March someone noticed the trailer in Marion, Georgia and called officials.

That's why it is at the Space and Rocket Center.

"Especially the find, like I say, it's a gold nugget. It being assumed it was lost in a forest fire, it actually exists," says restoration expert William Gaylor.

Willhite says this find is extraordinary.

"It is a big deal because everybody thought it was lost."

With a little work, restoration experts think it will look original.

"The only thing that needs to be restored is the bathroom. There's a porcelain toilet in there now, it should be plastic," says Gaylor.

Workers are trying to restore the exterior of the mobile quarantine center by the time the Davidson Center opens in mid-January.

They are still seeking funding for the interior.