This week the LRMA staff took a field trip to Stennis Space Center in Southwest Mississippi. We are gearing up for the exhibit NASA|ART: 50 Years of Exploration, featuring 65 artworks commissioned by NASA over the last fifty years, which will open on April 8, 2010. The exhibition is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and NASA in cooperation with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.
We started with a driving tour of the immense facility, which in addition to testing rocket and shuttle engines, is host to a number of other federal agencies and contractors. We saw NOAA, weather buoys, and the enormous test stands, and more. Stennis even has its own daycare, mini-mart, gas station, fire station, medical clinic, and several cafeterias to serve its thousands of employees.
We then visited the Stennisphere, a museum/hands-on activity center which presents the history of the area, the space center, the shuttle, and more. Several members of the staff did a fine job of landing...er, *crashing* the space shuttle in the simulator.
George and other members of the staff enjoyed the space suit:
We were hoping they had an extra space suit to lend us for photo ops, but alas, they do not.
We were all impressed by the enormous scale of the engines tested at the center:
And, finally, we had a great meeting with members of the Education, Outreach, and Public Affairs staff, who have a lot of great programming ideas for us. We have big plans for the programming around this exhibition, and we are looking forward to partnering with the folks at the Stennis Space Center.