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U.S. Space & Rocket Center moving Saturn V rocket

HUNTSVILLE (AP) — After a year of planning, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center will move
its original Saturn V rocket Tuesday to a $21.2 million
complex slated to open in January.

Rocket center spokesman Al Whitaker said the three remaining stages will have to be slowly positioned before they can be placed in the Davidson Saturn V Center.

"The farthest piece, as fate would have it, is the one that needs to go in the building first," Whitaker said.

The stages, which have all been gutted to prevent shifting, will be moved no faster than a half a mile an hour.

Whitaker said the process could take days, so workers have set up portable lights to work at night.

Center CEO Larry Capps said the entire rocket should be in its new home in time for Friday's Apollo/Saturn reunion.

EG&G, the moving company NASA contracted, has already loaded the third stage onto a crawler, a device similar to a flatbed trailer with 84 wheels, so it can be moved out of the way. After the walls of the Davidson Saturn V Center go up, a restoration team will finish $467,000 worth of work on the rocket.

The rocket, which has been at its present location since the late 1960s, was the first piece acquired by the center.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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