The "business end" of the Saturn V
You're driving east on Interstate 10, you cross the colossally tall Pearl River bridge into Mississippi and suddenly there it is: a giant rocket stage boasting 5 massive F-1 engines, in the swamp, welcoming you into the Hospitality State. What is it?
It's the first of the three stages of a Saturn V rocket, the same rocket that was used by NASA to support the Apollo program, and took Neil Armstrong and 23 others into orbit around the moon and enabled 12 of them to actually walk on it. Only this one never flew. It was one of several pieces left over after Apollo 17, the last moon landing. Built for Apollo 19, this booster would have taken Mississippi native Fred Haise to the moon as mission commander. If it had, it would have splashed down successfully and ended up in bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Instead, you can now see it from the highway or better yet, stand in awe in its shadow when you visit INFINITY.
The booster is INFINITY's most recent addition, having arrived at the science center in the early morning hours of June 21, 2016. Getting it here was just beginning of a multi-phase effort to restore it and build a permanent display. It will be quite the effort to move it and place it on permanent display. With enough people donating to conserve the rocket and erect a glass and steel building around it for protection, together we can ensure that a significant piece of American space history will never fade from memory.