The Canada Science and Technology Museum, located in Ottawa, Ontario, was closed this past September due to mold in the air. The museum is now dismantling two landmarks, a rocket and a pumpjack that are positioned on the museum’s front lawn, due to deterioration.
The Atlas Rocket has been on loan to the museum from the United Air Force since 1973. The rocket’s fuel tank consists of 27 sections of extremely thin stainless steel, which all require constant pressurization to prevent the entire structure from crumbling in on itself. Over the past 40 years, the weather has caused the metal to deteriorate and the fuel tank has not been air tight for many years, hence the need for a compressor coupled with a generator to maintain its internal pressure to prevent everything from collapsing. Museum officials are concerned that the landmark could crumble and potentially injure visitors so it has been decided that the rocket will be taken down and disposed of as per instructions provided by the US Air Force.
The federal government has invested $80.5 million in the museum and it is set to reopen sometime in 2017.