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Engines of a Saturn 1B rocket.

Saturn 1B Rocket (Gone)

Field review by the editors.

Elkmont, Alabama

Installed in 1979, the 224 foot tall Saturn 1B was a forerunner of the Saturn 5 launch vehicle for NASA missions. It boosted unmanned Apollo modules and a few orbital trips.

In the late 1990s, you could stop at this Alabama border Welcome Center, stand under the engines and imagine how the blast of takeoff would feel (like Alabama in August?). Renovations to the exhibit eventually blocked off strolling under the rocket.

Around the periphery of the Saturn 1b, there are several plaques and displays describing "The Saturn Legacy."

Nearby, a Vietnam War Memorial -- a chevron-shaped native rock monument -- is inscribed with Alabama war dead.

The Welcome Center closed, and the rocket was removed due to lack of maintenance in September 2023. NASA never imagined that it would be standing outdoors for 44 years.

Saturn 1B Rocket

Ardmore Welcome Center

Directions:
Ardmore Welcome Center, southbound I-65, on the state line just south of the Tennessee border.
Hours:
Sept. 2023: Removed
Status:
Gone

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