HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi State University unveiled its newest tool Tuesday to help manage and better understand the mechanics of the Gulf of Mexico. It's a brand new $9 million state of the art Science and Technology Center located at Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.
The work that will be conducted in the building is designed to improve the quality of life on the coast.
"We can draw scientists from around the country because of what we're dedicating today," said Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker.
The new Science and Technology Center will be home for some critical marine science.
"To me it's not just a dedication of a new building. We're really celebrating the success of Mississippi State and meeting the research needs of this community and the nation as well," said one Stennis Space Center leader.
Perhaps one of the most impressive parts of the 38,000 square foot building is the NOAA Exploration Command Center.
"One of only seven in the world and it's located right here," said Dr. Mark Keenum, President of Mississippi State University.
The command center allows scientists to collect information from the ocean floors without ever leaving the shore.
"The collaboration between Mississippi State and NOAA that created the cutting edge exploration command center in this new building will help transform the way we do science researchers at sea will work with scientists on shore through live video streams of under sea life in the Gulf," explained Wicker.
Here scientists are looking at marine organisms growing around the wreckage of a sunken ship.
"If we know when the ship wreck occurred, we can look at the organisms and see how quickly they are growing through time," said Sharon Mesick with MSU.
Dr. Keenum said, "The Gulf of Mexico and the impact that it has on everyday life for citizens along the Gulf Coast is critical. Maintaining a good balance in our marine species, oysters, shrimp, all the things that are important to the coast from a commercial standpoint, are part of the research is going to be conducted here."
Leaders say the research capabilities of the new facility are endless. They say research on marine life that could provide medical benefits to people will also be explored.