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ARDMORE, Ala. (WHNT) — A decaying rocket at the Ardmore Welcome Center could come down with the support of officials at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

“In partnership with the state of Alabama and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, we are supporting the safe removal of the Saturn 1B rocket and looking toward what may take its place in the future,” MSFC said in a statement.

The Ardmore Welcome Center opened in 1977 — two years later the Saturn 1B rocket was donated by the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

“This rocket was not built to withstand more than 40 years of continuous exposure to the elements of nature,” the statement continued. “The support structure has deteriorated over the years, the damage is too significant to repair, and could potentially pose a structural safety issue if left in place.”

Saturn 1B was one of three Saturn rockets made in Huntsville. The rocket has served as a symbol for Huntsville’s role in the space program for more than 40 years.