Alabama Senate Passes Bill to Eventually Replace Saturn 1B at Ardmore

MONTGOMERY, Ala (WHNT) — A bill that would replace the Saturn 1B rocket at the I-65 rest stop in Ardmore, if needed, has passed the Alabama Senate and moved to the House of Representatives in Alabama.

SB313 passed unanimously in the Senate on Wednesday and was sent to the Alabama House as the next step in the legislative process.

The bill would require the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to oversee “the design, construction and installation” of a replica of the Saturn 1B rocket currently located at the Alabama staging area. Interstate 65 to Ardmore if the original rocket is beyond restoration. and repair.

It is sponsored by Sen. Tom Butler (R-Madison) along with several other state senators. Butler has previously told News 19 that he wants to work to save the iconic landmark in northern Alabama.

“It’s an iconic symbol of what Alabama was like now and in the future,” Butler previously told News 19.

The bill, however, offers an option if efforts to create a rocket repair plan fail.

If enacted, the bill would allow ADECA “to accept public or private gifts, grants, and donations, including in-kind services, to be used for the commissioning of the rocket, and may also use funds appropriated to the department by the Legislative Assembly for purposes provided in this section.

In January, the US Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) said concerns over repairs and safety were behind plans to remove the Saturn 1B from its home at the rest stop.

The rocket center said the rocket was not designed to stay outdoors as long as it did and that key structural elements have degraded beyond repair.

Estimated costs to dismantle and rebuild the rocket could exceed $7 million and there is no guarantee the rocket will survive the process, according to the US Space and Rocket Center. The center also said any attempt to move the rocket would be hampered by factors

The USSRC also said that repairs to the rocket, if possible, would have to be carried out on site by a team of experts for more than a year, and even that would not prevent the inevitable deterioration of the rocket.


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