Preliminary work is underway in dismantling the Saturn 1B rocket at the North Alabama Welcome Center on Interstate 65 near the Tennessee state line.
NASA has been removing the engines from the rocket this week, according to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. And the rocket center has solicited bids to take down the 168-foot rocket that was part of the Apollo moon program.
The dismantling of the rocket is expected to be completed by the end of October.
The taking down of the rocket got final clearance in recent weeks when the office of Alabama Attorney General Marshall said the state’s monument preservation law would not be an obstacle.
The Saturn 1B rocket has been in place at the welcome center since 1979. It is one of only two remaining in the world, according to the rocket center.
NASA and the rocket center have said the rocket after being exposed to outdoor environmental elements for more than four decades is beyond repair and any efforts to refurbish it would exceed $7 million.