A massive 40-year-old rocket booster that never made it to the moon arrived Tuesday to Mississippi’s Infinity Science Center for a new mission as a roadside attraction.
40 miles by waterway and 10 miles by road it took the Apollo 19 Saturn V rocket booster to make it to Mississippi. The artifact was loaded onto a barge as the Michoud Assembly Facility’s docks and carried along a canal system into the Pearl River, where it was transported by boat to the Stennis Space Center and then driven by road to the science center.
The 360-ton 138-foor-long rocket booster was carried by road overnight on Monday along Interstate 10, later on, it was unloaded from the barge.
The Apollo Saturn V rocket booster rocket will be placed in front of Interstate 10 for drivers to see it.
Apollo 19 Saturn V: A game changer for Mississippi
The rocket booster was going to be used as part of the Saturn V, but his Apollo 19 moon landing mission was canceled in 1970. Fred Haise, a retired astronaut who slated to fly the rocket booster until the mission was canceled, said this was an incredible day because he has an unusual object behind him.
Haise stated that there are roughly 12 and a half million cars that go up and down Interstate 10, so having this incredible rocket booster would be the first thing that you see in Mississippi. For him, this would be a game changer for how people see and perceive Mississippians.
Infinity Science Center Executive Director John Wilson said that this rocket booster represents how some years ago, how America rose to the challenge to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, and it pulled out the best in all of the Americans.
“Had the Apollo 19 mission been flown, Mr. Fred Haise, who flew on Apollo 13, would have been commander on this mission, and had it flown, he would have served in that role and would have been the last man on the moon,” said Wilson. “It’s a tremendous icon to have, both to attract other than the [symbolism] it represents for all the work that been done at Michoud and Stennis.” Wilson added.
However, for the Science Center, Wilson believes that their goal with this Saturn V first stage exhibit is to educate science center guests on Mississippi region’s critical role in space exploration. And, also, bring to life the ingenuity of the men and women who built, transported, tested, and flew the machines that took us to worlds beyond their own.
Source: Collect Space