Stennis in 2009 – A Convergence of Past, Present and Future

Science on a Sphere
Students of Xavier University Preparatory School in New Orleans watch clouds shift across the globe in real time on the Science on a Sphere exhibit during a recent visit to StenniSphere, the visitor center at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center. Four projectors work in sync with the suspended sphere to create a revolving display of a planet's atmosphere, oceans and land; to show documentary movies; or to project models of climate change using satellite data. Pictured are students (l to r) Ebony Johnson, Zhane Farbe, Ashante Snowton and Robriane Larry.

EOC ribbon-cutting
Representatives from NASA Headquarters, the State of Mississippi and the National Weather Service visited the John C. Stennis Space Center on June 2 to celebrate the opening of the site's new Emergency Operations Center. Participants in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the state-of-the-art facility included (l t r): Steven Cooper, deputy director of the National Weather Service Southern Region; Tom Luedtke, NASA associate administrator for institutions and management; Charles Scales, NASA associate deputy administrator; Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour; Gene Goldman, director of Stennis Space Center; Jack Forsythe, NASA assistant administrator for the Office of Security and Program Protection; Dr. Richard Williams, NASA chief health and medical officer; and Weldon Starks, president of Starks Contracting Company Inc. of Biloxi, Miss.

Stennis conducts last planned test
Steam billows from the A-2 Test Stand at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center during a July 29 space shuttle main engine test. The test was the last planned test for the Space Shuttle Program, which is set to end next year. Stennis engineers conducted their first test of a space shuttle main engine in 1975 and have tested every engine used in the program since that time. During those 34 years and almost 130 shuttle flights, no mission has failed due to engine malfunction.

Space shuttle main engine No. 0525 is lifted from the A-2 Test Stand
Space shuttle main engine No. 0525 is lifted from the A-2 Test Stand at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center against the backdrop of the new A-3 Test Stand under construction, offering a glimpse of the past and future in the nation's space exploration program. Stennis Space Center has tested every main engine used on more than 125 shuttle missions. However, with the shuttle program set to end in 2010, Stennis conducted the last planned space shuttle main engine test on July 29. Meanwhile, construction of the A-3 Test Stand continues in order to conduct high-altitude testing of the J-2X engine in development. The J-2X engine is being built to help power humans beyond low-Earth orbit once more as part of NASA's Constellation Program.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden visits Stennis
New NASA Administrator Charles Bolden responds to a question during an all hands session at John C. Stennis Space Center on Aug. 20. Bolden was joined by new NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver.

A-3 Test Stand construction
Nine water, isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and liquid oxygen (LOX) tanks have been delivered and installed at the A-3 Test Stand under construction at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center, with five more water tanks scheduled to arrive. The two IPA tanks shown on the left and the three LOX tanks shown on the right are 35,000 gallons each. The four water tanks in the center are 39,000 gallons each. All 14 of the tanks will be used by the chemical steam generators units that will be installed on the A-3 stand for creating simulated altitudes of up to 100,000 feet. The IPA and LOX tanks will fuel the generators; the other tanks will provide the water needed to generate the steam necessary for creating the simulated altitudes. The tanks are 65 to 85 feet tall and weigh 270,000 to 320,000 pounds each.