Rocket Tug of War! Who Should Get It?

Rocket Tug of War! Who Should Get It?

Aron Boldog, Contributor

Recently the Saturn 1B Rocket has noticeably deteriorated after standing tall at the rest stop in northern Alabama at the Alabama Welcome Center for over 40 years. The rocket was only meant to last for 40 years of being outside, and only now has its deterioration started becoming a serious safety concern. Repairs are said to cost over $7 million, and it’s said that those repairs may not even help it last that much longer, so is it time for a change of scenery? With how the repairmen are quoting the rocket repair costs and with their saying that the repairs may not even work, it may be time to start considering a new landmark for the city of Elkmont. Either that or we get a replica that is built to stand far longer than 40 more years.

The question is what we will do next? Will we get a replica, or will we decide to make a new landmark with a new rocket? Or will it not be a rocket but something else? It’d also be confusing if they decide to replace the rocket with something else. Who knows what we will get? “We are inspired by the community’s passion for the rocket and the accomplishments it represents,” Rocket Center CEO and Executive Director Dr. Kimberley Robinson said in a statement on “Whether the rocket is replaced by a replica of the Saturn IB or another rocket, we’re excited at the possibility for a new enduring emblem of Alabama’s leadership in space exploration.”

But now the small town village and home of the old astronaut John Glenn, New Concord, Ohio is interested if the rocket would be for sale. They think it would be a great landmark for the ex-astronauts hometown. “It would definitely be a tourist draw,” Village Administrator Rick Giroux says in an article on And it definitely would be! Having that rocket safely to show off there would easily turn the small town village that no one knew existed into a place on the map. But the question for them is how they would get it there and how much it would cost. The rocket is already too big to transport under the overpasses on I-65 and it would easily cost over $7 Million to take apart and transport and then put back together with repairs in New Concord, especially after transporting it over 500 miles. They would also have to consider the constant stopping and fueling of the vehicles that are carrying the super heavy rocket even if it was broken up into pieces. But even with all of the complications that are arising left and right the small town seems to be very interested in getting some kind of something to add to their town. 

Now there is new news that is springing up that the city of Huntsville is pretty adamant on having the rocket for themselves, and it kind of makes sense with them being the “Rocket City” and everything spacey mostly having happened here. They said they have many spots they could put it in as long as Limestone doesn’t want it. Huntsville City council member Bill Kling said that they may even put it down vertically somewhere to be more cost-effective even with the $7M repairs needed to keep it together. Kling says in an interview with Fox54 News “We don’t have to worry about the structure, the torque, and the wind resistance, and at the same time it could be spruced up with a good coat of paint or two. And I think things like that could be done very cost-effectively.” With Hunstville being the Rocket City, I think it’s likely they will win this tug-of-war going on for the rocket.

So the question now is who should get it? Where the rocket goes is up to the Alabama Tourism Department, so in the end, it’s up to them. Now, all we can do is wait and see.