The USSRC is working with the Alabama Tourism Department to get the money to pressure wash and paint the rocket, which will take more than 100 gallons to prime and paint.
[Pat Ammons, scholarship manager and media liaison for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center] said the USSRC is putting out bids to determine the cost of the project.
"After our grant request is approved, we would move forward with pressure washing the rocket," she said. "The project will require scaffolding, a special lift and multiple man hours to get the rocket cleaned and painted."
Shortly after the rocket was painted in 2006, Ammons said a chain-link fence was added around the landmark because of problems with graffiti.
Officials hope to replace the fence with benches and reader rails featuring information about the state's role in the space program.
"But that is a project that would also cost a good deal of money," Ammons said. "We would welcome any donors who would like to help us with the cost of maintaining the rocket or in placing benches and railings."