HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - INFINITY Science Center is an opportunity for everyone to get a glimpse behind the gates of Stennis Space Center to explore the work many do to learn about what lies deep below the earth's surface all the way to outer space.
It has taken more than a decade of hard work just to get the center open.
Board Member George Schloegel said, "We had nothing to put inside the interactive displays. We had an application in for those displays, but the application was on the back shelf."
Inside INFINITY you will see several unique artifacts, many borrowed from museums across the country. But that is about to change because BP is giving Infinity Science Center $10.4 million which will transform the center into what it was envisioned to be.
"Now we go to the final chapter which is to have these interactive displays for young people to come in and do all kind of things on a simulator that are the equivalent of flying a rocket to Mars," Schloegel said.
"They are really going to be cutting edge, state-of-the-art exhibits,"NASA-INFINITY Liaison Myron Webb said. "We will be able to do the original design that was conceived here at Stennis many, many years ago with people working form NASA, Navy, Pratt Rocketdyne, Lockheed and many, many others."
The money will also finish the outside of Infinity with nature trails.
"You just don't find a science center next to an eco-tourism experience on a major interstate," Webb said. "Those outdoor trails will allow people to take hikes and we will have a tram they can actually ride along those 3.5 miles and there will be birding opportunities and you can even rent a bike."
The trails will eventually connect all the way to Jackson County.
"It is really going to make help make this a regional coast tourist destination as well as a premier educational center," Webb said.
Finishing INFINITY will also make good on a promise Schloegel made to a South Mississippi icon before he died.
"The last thing Leo Seal said and did before he died in his hospital bed, he opened one eye kind of like this, looked at me and said 'Do me a favor get INFINITY finished,'" Schloegel said. "That was his dying wish. He put a lot of time and money into this effort. So to be able to say to Leo ok buddy it's done. It's going to be wonderful."