Mon, Jan 15, 2007
VAB's Flag, Logo Receive Badly Needed Paint Jobs
NASA tells ANN the star-spangled banner will shine a little
brighter in the rocket's glare -- at least at NASA's Kennedy Space
Center in Florida. On the massive 52-story Vehicle Assembly
Building, the American flag and the NASA logo that adorn the south
face of the building are receiving a badly needed paint job.
The 209-foot-tall, 110-foot-wide flag was first painted on the
building in 1976 in celebration of the American Revolution
bicentennial. To make sure NASA planners got it right, the agency
consulted the Department of the Army's Institute of Heraldry at the
Pentagon in Washington, DC. The result was the largest American
flag ever depicted, with its stripes 9 feet wide and stars
measuring 6 feet in diameter. In addition to the flag, a 110-foot
symbol of the bicentennial was also added to the building at that
time and remained there for the next 22 years.
In 1998, to commemorate NASA's 40th anniversary, the fading flag
was repainted and the 12,300-square-foot NASA logo -- known as the
"meatball" -- replaced the bicentennial emblem.
Since then, time and weather -- especially the harsh 2004
hurricane season -- took their toll on the flag and the meatball.
During back-to-back hurricanes, the building lost nearly 850 of its
panels that each measure 14 by 6 feet, and not even the flag was
spared. The strong storm winds took a "bite" out of Old Glory's
stripes until repairs were completed.
Things are now looking brighter, though, for the building that
has served human spaceflight for more than 40 years. Painters'
elevated platforms once again dangle high on the side of the
525-foot-high structure while workers use rollers and brushes to
spruce up the flag and meatball -- not a task for the faint of
In the end, the results will be seen for miles, and one of the
most visible symbols of the launch complex will shine once
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