Hancock County

The public is invited to feel the ground shake at Stennis engine firing

A drone captures an overhead view of an RS-25 rocket test at Stennis Space Center Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, along with a rainbow. The public is invited to get a free ticket and witness the test on Oct. 19.
A drone captures an overhead view of an RS-25 rocket test at Stennis Space Center Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, along with a rainbow. The public is invited to get a free ticket and witness the test on Oct. 19.

A Founder’s Day Open House at Stennis Space Center on Oct. 19 will let the community witness the test firing of an RS-25 engine that will help power America into deep space destinations.

Security gates will be open from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. that day and only U.S. citizens age 10 or older will be allowed to attend.

Open house activities, exhibits, demonstrations and speakers will be hosted by agencies at Stennis before the afternoon test of RS-25 flight engine No. 2063 on the A-1 Test Stand. The engine is being tested for use by NASA’s new Space Launch System, being built to carry humans to deep-space destinations, including Mars. It is scheduled to be one of the four engines that will help power the launch of SLS on Exploration Mission-2, which will be the first flight of the new rocket to carry humans.

The ground shake and steam rise as the engine roars out a flame from a safe distance away.

The theme of the open house is “SSC – 56 Years of Making Fire and Rain!” to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the rocket engine test site in Hancock County. NASA announced plans on Oct. 25, 1961, to build the site in South Mississippi for testing the Apollo Program rockets that carried humans to the moon.

Coolers will not be allowed but spectators can bring collapsible chairs that are bagged and can be carried on their lap on the bus. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Tickets are limited and are free online through Friday. Everyone must have a ticket and those age 16 or older must show a picture ID (driver’s license or passport) for entry.

Entry is from either the south security gate off Exit 2 of Interstate 10, or the north gate to Stennis. Once cleared, participants will be directed to a central parking area and buses will take them to the test complex area.

Tickets: https://ssc-open-house.eventbrite.com

  Comments