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NASA's Stennis Space Center

StenniSphere, Stennis Space Center's visitor center, features 14,000 square feet (1,300 square meters) of informative displays and exhibits from NASA, the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command and other agencies. Visitors from around the world tour the space center each year. Tours to StenniSphere originate approximately every 15 minutes from the Launch Pad tour stop at the Hancock County Welcome Center at Interstate 10, Exit 2, just 45 miles east of New Orleans.

On display at the Launch Pad is a 30-foot Lunar Lander that was used as a trainer by Apollo astronauts for their Moon mission, complete with Apollo 13 Astronaut Fred Haise’s boot prints and autograph at its base. Visitors board shuttles for a 25-minute narrated tour through SSC’s unique acoustical buffer zone to America’s largest rocket propulsion testing complex. This is where Apollo Saturn V engines were tested in the 1960s and today where the Space Shuttle’s powerful main engines are tested and proven flight-worthy. NASA’s nextgeneration rocket engines also are tested at SSC.

Indoor Exhibits

  • Moon Rock – collected by the crew of Apollo 15 in August 1971, estimated to be more than 3 billion years old Apollo 4 Command Module – unmanned module launched Nov. 9, 1967, to test the thermal protection system during re-entry
  • Apollo 13 Spacesuit – worn by Mississippi Astronaut Fred Haise, a crew member of the Apollo 13 mission in April 1970 Test Control Center – a mock-up of a Stennis Space Center test control center where you can "test" a Space
  • Shuttle Main Engine and "launch" a rocket
  • Space Shuttle Cockpit – land a computerized version of the Space Shuttle
  • International Space Station – full-scale mock-up of a habitation and laboratory modul
  • Swamp to Space – a history of the center and information on the local environment
  • Evolution of Space Flight – a pictorial history of America’s space program
  • Needlepoint Mission Patches – replicas of NASA mission patches by members of the American Needlepoint Guild
  • The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command – a weather center, a representation of the ocean floor and information about the Earth’s oceans

Outdoor Exhibits

  • Space Shuttle Main Engine
  • F-1 engine that powered the first stage of the Saturn rocket
  • Learjet Model 28 – airplane mounted with remote sensors that gather detailed images of the Earth
  • Full-scale Nomad buoy from the National Data Buoy Center that represents the automated observing systems that measure weather and ocean conditions Scale model of the Saturn V rocket that took America’s astronauts to the Moon Solid Rocket Booster that powers the Space Shuttle into orbit Jupiter-C rocket, the kind that put the first U.S. satellite into orbit
  • Mars exhibits and activities, including the Motion Simulator that lets space adventurers experience the sights and sounds of a mission to Mars

NASA Stennis Space Center Lunar Lander
NASA Stennis Space Center Lunar Lander

NASA Stennis Space Center Moon Boots Foot Prints


  Hours and Location
StenniSphere's Summer Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Winter Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. StenniSphere is closed on major holidays. Tours depart on a regular schedule each day from the Launch Pad at the I-10 Welcome Center, Exit 2. Special presentations for groups can be arranged. Admission to StenniSphere is free. Motion Simulator rides are $4 for children and $5 for adults.

PLEASE see also the Official NASA Stennis Website for verification of exhibits, hours, and admission.

Document Information
Source: information: NASA; photos: magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20041119
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