MSFC Fire Not As Bad As First Reported

Damage from space center fire not as severe as first thought, Huntsville Times

"On Monday, Whitaker speculated that the museum may have lost an irreplaceable instruments unit built for the Saturn V program. Today, he said heat appears to have bubbled the paint, but the unit is otherwise OK."

Building, artifacts lost in fire at Huntsville Rocket Center, AP

"Two artifacts at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center were destroyed Monday when a fire started in the building where they were being restored. Spokesman Al Whitaker said the blaze began around 12:30 p.m. in the building where the center's fleet of tour buses is maintained. Huntsville firefighters quickly contained the fire, which caused no injuries and did not require evacuation of the museum. The artifacts were to be moved into a new building this summer that is being built to house the Saturn V rocket."

Space Center suffers loss of artifacts in fire, Huntsville Times

"Space Center spokesman Al Whitaker said the fire leveled a "bus barn" that houses shuttle buses and occasional museum items that need refurbishing. Whitaker said museum officials are grieving over the loss of a historic test command module and a historic "instruments unit" built for the Saturn V program. The equipment was in the building awaiting refurbishment, he said."

Local reader's note: "On the second floor of the bus barn (at the US Space and Rocket Center not MSFC) on the back side was the main collection area for the "more significant" artifacts not on display. Including: 12 different Apollo spacesuits, space gloves, helmets, Skylab artifacts, flown shuttle artifacts, historical papers, science equipment, and old models of spacecraft. They will never know all they lost. Not much was cataloged. The US Space and Rocket Center curator's staff is one fulltime person - an expert on US space program (especially the Germans) and her son. She could not get anymore help/staff from the management. It would be like having a fire at the National Air and Space Museum's storage area."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on May 8, 2007 3:44 PM.

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