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Last updated 2:10AM ET
March 7, 2021
Alabama Unveils Refurbished Moon Rocket
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - The U.S. Space & Rocket Center plans to dedicate a renovated Saturn Five rocket tomorrow, the 50th anniversary of the launch of America's first satellite. The rocket's renovation was the cornerstone of a $23.4 million project to preserve the rocket and expand the state-owned museum.

The job wasn't as easy as scraping off rust and slapping on some new paint. Workers had to clear out raccoons, birds and opossums that were living in the 363-foot-long steel structure.

Using a combination of private donations, local funding, federal grants and bond money, the museum hired a contractor to oversee the renovation and began work on a 68,200-square-foot building to house the rocket. The renovation took two and a half years.

Konrad Dannenberg, who is 95, helped build the rockets that sent men to the moon. He said he's amazed workers could move one inside and make it look new after more than three decades of decay. He will be among the honored guests at tomorrow's ceremony.

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