Alabama Says Goodbye to Iconic Landmark
Gone but not forgotten.
For over four decades, the Tennessee-Alabama welcome center featured a space-race era rocket to greet incoming travelers.
As of this September, though, crews have begun dismantling the Saturn 1B rocket.
Al.com talked with the rocket center, who revealed it will take about four or five weeks to completely dismantle the 168-foot tall rocket. At this point, though, the structure has already been grounded.
The Tennessean spoke about the reason for the removal. "Exposed to the elements, the structure has degraded over the years and is now beyond repair, according to officials."
And why couldn't they just repair it?
According to experts it would take over a year of full-time work to do so. Even then, repairs would still not prevent further deterioration.
Despite efforts to save the rocket by those in the Alabama state goverenment, since NASA owns the structure, they were fully in their rights to remove it.
Although Alabama Senator Tom Butler hopes a replica can take the rocket's place at the welcome center, the cost of such a venture make it unlikely.
We'll just have to cherish it in our memories.