Stennis Space Center in Mississippi celebrates 60 years


NASA conducts the first test of the Saturn V S-IC-5 rocket stage on the B-2 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center on Aug. 25, 1967. The center tested all Saturn V first and second stages for the seven Apollo Program lunar landing missions in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Credits: NASA/SSC

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Stennis Space Center site in Mississippi is celebrating 60 years.

Sixty years ago, NASA officials announced plans to build a site in a lowland corner of south Mississippi to test Apollo Program rocket stages and engines.

Stennis Construction
A 1964 aerial view shows early work to construct the A-2 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center, then-Mississippi Test Operations. The dark rim of mud around the excavation is the remains of a riverbed, which some geologists believe was the ancient path of the Mississippi River.Credits: NASA/SSC

Since then, Stennis Space Center, which is located near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, has grown into a sprawling federal city and area economic engine.

“The story of Stennis is one of resilience and ingenuity,” Center Director Dr. Rick Gilbrech said. “The site has helped power the nation’s space programs ever since the Apollo era of the 1960s and 1970s. At the same time, despite obstacles, it has developed into a highly efficient federal city. The Stennis workforce has a remarkable history of dedication and expertise. I feel continually blessed to lead such a talented group.”

NASA said after sixty years, the annual economic impact of Stennis and its combined 5,000 employees remains substantial, totaling $656 million within a 50-mile radius in 2020. Meanwhile, a new Stennis Strategic Business Development Office is at work to ensure the site remains viable and valuable in the years ahead.

For information about NASA Stennis Space Center, click here.

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