How do you test rocket engines which need to develop 1.15 billion pounds of thrust to send men to the moon? You build a test facility named Stennis Space Center just inside the western boundary of Mississippi off I-10.
Stopping at the Mississippi Visitor Center on I-10 heading east from Louisiana is always a must for us. In fact, the center can be reached whether going east or west. They have a large area for stretching your legs, walking dogs and the Community Coffee is always hot and fresh. There is tourist information available for all of Mississippi. All in all it is a great stop.
As often as we have stopped at the info center, we had never made it next door to Infinity Space Center. The visitor center for Stennis Space Center just north of the Tourist Information Center. Infinity opened in December 2012 and we decided that four years was long enough – time to visit.
On a sunny Wednesday (senior day) we headed to Infinity and were so glad we did. First order of business was scheduling the bus tour of Stennis. This is a highlight of the center and well worth the time. The bus makes various stops along the way for photo ops and viewing. Even though no testing was being done the day we visited, we could image the ground trembling as huge rocket engines were fired up on test structures. It was very interesting to be up close and personal with these gigantic test facilities.
Back at Infinity, we decided on what videos/movies we wanted to view and made plans. Then we wandered among the various exhibits. Walking through the space station and seeing where astronauts sleep and work made our RV seem like a palace – we have a new respect for small.
Another highlight was the Sphere in the Immersive Theater. It is 68 inches in diameter and no matter where you are in the theater you see what everyone else sees. Pretty amazing and fun to move around the room. We were lucky the day we viewed the sphere; only one other person was in the theater.
There is also a flight simulator ride available for an additional $5.00 fee. It is 6.5’ high, 9.5’ wide and 25’ long holding 15 passengers. Unfortunately neither of us could ride because of various restrictions. Everyone we spoke with said it was a great thrill.
Lots of exhibits, simulators, walls of history, educational information on space travel and the machines our astronauts use in outer space. If you are into space travel, you could spend an entire day at Infinity and probably not see everything you want to see.
Outside offers various pieces of equipment used in space exploration, oceanographic, and military areas. In addition there are nature walks, tram tours and bike trails available at certain times of the year. The bike trails are open depending on water levels.
There is so much to see, do and take in at Infinity that one day is not enough time. If all you have is one day, choose wisely and enjoy the thrill of space.