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Workers will begin moving the massive Saturn V rocket vehicle from its perch of almost 40 years in Rocket Park at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center to its new home inside the Davidson Saturn V Center Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. The move, dubbed "Rocket Roll", represents a major milestone in the four year effort to restore and preserve the artifact for many future generations.
Plans call for the third stage of the Saturn V to be moved to a holding area west of the Davidson Saturn V Center, currently under construction to permanently house the rocket vehicle and other artifacts related to the Saturn and Apollo programs. Workers will then move the first stage, the largest of the major components, into the new building, followed by the second and third stages. All three stages are expected to be in place in time for the Fourth Annual Saturn/Apollo Reunion scheduled for Friday, July 13th.
Local officials, including Marshall Space Flight Center Deputy Director Robert Lightfoot Jr., along with former NASA astronaut and member of the NASA Advisory Council Dr. Owen K. Garriott, will "launch" the Saturn V on its final journey during a brief pyrotechnic and audio presentation. Admission to Rocket Roll, sponsored by Accenture, is free and open to the public.
Scheduled for grand opening on January 31, 2008, the Davidson Saturn V Center will become the new "front door" for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, housing the Visitor Ticketing Area, a 350-seat auditorium, the Saturn V Rocket Vehicle and a 42,000-square-foot exhibit space to showcase the history of the Saturn program and demonstrate how lessons learned during the Apollo program are affecting design and engineering decisions today. In order to present the full story, the exhibits in the Saturn V Gallery will also show the evolution of propulsion systems from the Saturn V to the shuttle and how that technology is being adapted to the Ares rocket vehicle system.
Completion of the 68,200-square-foot Davidson Saturn V Center is the first stage in a USSRC plan to better showcase NASA and Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) contributions to historical, current, and future space exploration.
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