PPG recently announced it has helped the California Science Center Foundation prepare the final space shuttle external tank for a six-week ocean voyage by donating a military-grade paint matching the tank’s foam covering to enhance appearance and protect against elements during its journey by barge from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to Los Angeles.

Upon arrival in California, the ET-94 tank will undergo cosmetic restoration for display at the California Science Center along with the space shuttle Endeavour.

DESOTHANE® HS/CA 8211 series military and defense topcoat manufactured at PPG’s Mojave, Calif., plant was tinted to match the burnt-orange foam by PPG aerospace coatings color experts. Loose foam was removed from ET-94 at Michoud, and the PPG topcoat was applied by roller and brush to cover gaps for a consistent appearance.

According to Duane Utter, global segment manager for space and defense coatings, PPG was asked to supply the paint by Dennis R. Jenkins, project director overseeing the science center’s new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center.

“PPG was a proud partner in the space shuttle program as the supplier of the only primer qualified for the external tanks,” Utter said. “This primer passed cryogenic and corrosion testing and met requirements for foam adhesion. After accepting the opportunity to supply the topcoat for the historic ET-94 journey, we matched the color of the foam, and our sample was approved by the science center. We recommended Desothane HS/CA 8211 series topcoat because of its matte appearance and durability.”

For more information, visit www.ppgaerospace.com