Stennis Space Centre, April 1966

Stennis Space Centre, April 1966


Vintage chromogenic print, 25.4 x 20.2 cm

Stamp on verso

[NASA description] In the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was an old saying around the community, “If you want to go to the moon, you first have to go through Hancock County, Miss.”

The site known today as NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center boasts a rich and colorful history dating as far back as 1699. Indians, settlers, pirates and soldiers shaped this part of Mississippi, which now hosts modern-day explorers.

In the decades before the space age arrived, the old towns of Gainesville, Napoleon, Santa Rosa, Logtown and Westonia formed a logging and shipping center along the scenic East Pearl River. In time, these settlements gave way to a more high-tech network involving space, oceans and Earth.

In October 1961, a historic announcement was made: the federal government had selected an area in Hancock County, Miss., to be the site of a static test facility for launch vehicles to be used in the Apollo manned lunar landing program.

It was the largest construction project in the state of Mississippi and the second largest in the United States at that time.

The selection of the Mississippi site was a logical and practical one. The land offered water access, essential for transporting large rocket stages, components and loads of propellants. It also provided the 13,800-acre test facility with an acoustical buffer zone of close to 125,000 acres, which is still considered a national asset.

Condition: mint

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