Astronaut Trainees Visit Stennis Space Center

NASA's astronauts of tomorrow paid a visit to Stennis Space Center on Thursday.

Seventeen men and women from NASA's Astronaut Candidates class of 2000 came to the Hancock County test facility to get a first-hand look at the job Stennis does for America's Space Program.

While there, the trainees watched a Space Shuttle Main Engine test firing. As part of their training, candidates visit all of NASA's installations to get an idea of how each operation works. The Astronaut candidates say getting to know the people behind the hardware gives them a sense of assurance that the engines will perform well on an actual space mission.

"The people who work here at Stennis are such an integral part of the space shuttle program," astronaut candidate Mike Foreman says.  "This will be the highlight of our trip for sure, if not the highlight of our year."

So far, the astronauts have visited seven NASA facilities across the nation. They'll stop at the Miehoud Plant in New Orleans Friday.