Restoring the Light
As workers wait at the top of the newly repainted Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, a crane carefully moves the refurbished 18,000-pound lantern room toward them. The optic, or light, (visible in the center of the tower above) was powered down for the restoration and removed for maintenance and overhaul, as well. This rotating beacon -- which can be seen up to 22 miles offshore -- is operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, while the lighthouse is owned by the U.S. Air Force.
The extensive refurbishment project was started a year ago
following many years of normal weathering in the coastal location, which was heightened by hurricane damage from the 2004 season. As part of the restoration, the original brass roof of the lantern room was returned to the structure and its familiar black-and-white "daymark" was repainted. The final step will be the relighting of this active navigational aid, and once again its light will shine across the waters around Cape Canaveral.
Image Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett
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Cheryl L. Mansfield
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center