Friday, October 23, 2015

Hancock County, Mississippi: Stennis Space Center

NASA has sent all sorts of rockets into space over the past several decades. Now if you were getting on top of one of them, wouldn't you want it to be well tested? Of course you would. Otherwise, you'd really be nervous about flying a group of low bids into space.

Therefore, NASA has to test those engines somewhere. That brings us to the Stennis Space Center, located in the southwest corner of Mississippi. The photo is of one of the main entrances.

The first thing that jumps out at a potential visitor is that the grounds are big, meaning it is an isolated facility. With a little reflection, you might realize that these are engines with lots and lots of fuel in them. If something goes very wrong, well, you might not want to live too close to it. By the way, five communities were swallowed up to make room for the center. This is where the Saturn V rockets were tested before sending Apollo astronauts to the moon and back.

The facility does have bus tours during the day, although one would assume anyone hoping to see an engine test will be disappointed.

Since we arrived too late for a tour, this aerial view of the facility was greatly appreciated:

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