Saturn 1B replica a possibility as original rocket comes down

Saturn 1B replica a possibility as original rocket comes down
Saturn 1B replica a possibility as original rocket comes down(WAFF)
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 10:00 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Ala. (WAFF) - Deconstruction has begun on Saturn 1B along I-65 in Ardmore but a bill that was signed into law this summer could call for a replica to be put in it’s place.

Senate Bill 313 allocated $2 million to either restore Saturn 1B or replace it with a replica or monument.

Now that the rocket is coming down, State Senator Tom Butler is hopeful his bill will put something that represents Saturn 1B’s history in it’s place.

“I think it was a shame to take this one down but if it had to come down I think we need to look at some symbol of state, how positive that had been and hopefully something will continue in that place,” Butler said.

State Representative Rex Reynolds said the allocated funds are ready and waiting to be used.

Reynolds said the House General Fund Budget committee is waiting on someone with a design and construction plan for a replica. The budget committee’s role is to review the proposal and then allocate funding upon approval.

“Certainly it is not the intent of the legislature to oversee that project,” Reynolds said. “We just held the money in ADECA until such plan is brought forward.”

Leaders with ADECA tell WAFF 48 News that they are currently working to determine the next steps regarding their responsibility as directed by the bill.

Reynolds said he’s hopeful they can replace the Saturn 1B rocket with something that represents the state’s role in space exploration.

“With the current condition of the rocket, those who evaluated it saw that it needed to come down so we will support that and we will see what comes forward,” Reynolds said. “I figure there will be more of a modern rocket that will come back up there but certainly I hope to see it happen.”

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