A Brief History On The John C Stennis Space Center
Bay Saint Louis Travel Blog› entry 16 of 47 › view all entries
In October 1961, a historic announcement was made: the federal government had selected an area in Hancock County, Miss.
The center's primary mission at the onset was to flight certify all first and second stages of the Saturn V rocket for the Apollo program. This program began with a static test firing on April 23, 1966, and continued into the early 1970s.
Proof of the contributions made by Stennis Space Center to America's space program was that all the Apollo space vehicle boosters did their job without a single failure, including those for the Apollo 11 mission the landing of the first men on the moon.
From Apollo to the next mode of space travel. A new chapter was added in June 1975 when the Space Shuttle Main Engine was tested here for the first time. All the engines used to boost the Space Shuttle into low-Earth orbit are flight certified at SSC on the same stands used to test fire all first and second stages of the Saturn V in the Apollo and Skylab programs.
Over the years, SSC has evolved into a multidisciplinary facility made up of NASA and 30 other resident agencies engaged in space and environmental programs and the national defense, including the U.S. Navy's world-class oceanographic research community.
What's in a Name?
SSC has undergone a number of name changes. Its original name, Mississippi Test Operations, was changed to Mississippi Test Facility in 1965. In 1974, the facility was named the National Space Technology Laboratories reporting to NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.In May 1988, it was renamed the John C. Stennis Space Center in honor of U.S. Sen. John C. Stennis for his steadfast leadership and staunch support of the nation's space program.