It’s an iconic landmark as you enter the state of Alabama, the Saturn 1B Rocket at the Ardmore Welcome Center.
However, the rocket isn’t aging all that gracefully. Since 1979 the massive 168 feet high and 22 feet wide rocket towered over Interstate 65.
“These artifacts are so important to the identity of this community,” said U.S. Space and Rocket Center Director of Communications, Pat Ammons.
The statue was erected by the citizens of Alabama to honor the men and women who made space exploration possible.
“These rockets are such a testament to the work that’s been done here,” explained Ammons. “It’s important they look good and we have the communities support to make that happen.”
The rocket is property of NASA and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center is responsible for maintenance.
Hundreds of visitors stop by the attraction daily to take pictures and learn about our state’s vital role in space exploration.
Now the U.S. Space and Rocket Center is working to restore these cherished landmarks. The center is taking bids to repair the rocket base immediately. According to Ammons, repairs to the base will cost upwards of 15 thousand dollars. From there, the center will bring restoration experts to the Ardmore location as well as the Space and Rocket Center to create an extensive long term restoration process.