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[i]On September 5, 2004, Hurricane Francis bore down on Florida's Space Coast, only the second time in recorded history this area was struck by the full force of a hurricane (and second of what would be three strikes that summer). One unfortunate result was the damage of the Mercury Spacecraft mockup atop the Redstone booster found at KSC's Gate 2 on State Hwy. 3. Many of the corrugated panels were tossed around the parking are by the Press Center nearby.
On June 7, 2005, the spacecraft returned. Guard Lee of Apopka, FL, produced the fiberglass reproduction using the original framwork removed earlier. The aluminum escape tower mockup was also cleaned and repainted. This new capsule serves double duty, providing an authentic looking vehicle but also acting as a rain umbrella, preventing future water damage to the booster interior.[/i]
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