Mississippi Test Facility (1967) - Saturn V stage two

Mississippi Test Facility

Mississippi Test Facility
(John C. Stennis Space Center)
Hancock County, Mississippi

Established in 1961, the Mississippi Test Facility—now known as the John C. Stennis Space Center—is a NASA field center located along the banks of the Pearl River. The Facility’s water access proved advantageous for the transport of large rocket stages and propellants, while its 13,800 acres provided an adequate acoustical buffer zone for rocket testing. Upon its inception, the Mississippi Test Facility’s primary mission was to flight certify all first and second stages of the Saturn V launch vehicle used for Project Apollo. To its credit, all of the Apollo spacecraft boosters performed in action without a single failure. From 1975 to 2009, the center also flight certified the main engine for the Space Shuttle Orbiter. While use of the facility decreased after the Space Shuttle program retired in 2011, it will soon conduct tests for the main engine and core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System.

Mission Control Center
Vehicle Assembly Building