NASA Tears Down Huntsville Rocket Test Stand Used in Moon Missions

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- The nation's space agency has demolished a historic structure in Huntsville that was once used by engineers working to send astronauts to the moon.

State preservation officials didn't want the old rocket test stand destroyed. But they agreed to the project after NASA compiled an extensive written and photographic history.

The 239-foot-tall tower was built in the early 1960s to test F-1 engines, which helped power Saturn V rockets to the moon. Documents show it hasn't been used since 1969, the year astronauts first landed on the lunar surface.

NASA wanted to tear down the concrete-and-steel stand to save on maintenance and to free up space for newer facilities.

A top state preservation official says the demolition is a loss for Alabama's history.

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