HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - An annual breakfast was held Thursday at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Hancock County to discuss exciting new details in the future of space exploration. The meeting gave directors from both Stennis and Louisiana's Michoud Assembly Facility the chance to discuss how both states can help propel science.
One of the most interesting topics discussed at the breakfast was the journey to Mars. In order for that journey to take place, there are essential steps that must first take place in both South Mississippi and Louisiana.
The meeting also detailed what 2017 looked like for the two major players in space exploration and what 2018 had in store. Rocket testing was up at Stennis over the past year and now, with an even bigger budget, there are even more tests planned.
This is all leading to 2020 when the huge space launch system, which is taller than the Statue of Liberty, is scheduled to make its first official liftoff.
"This is very important to the NASA exploration mission," said Michael McDaniel, the general manager of Aerojet Rocketdyne. "To go farther into space, we're going back to the moon. Use that as a launch platform to eventually go to Mars. This is for deep space exploration. This is a major program for NASA and the United States."
All of this can't happen without the work that's done in South Louisiana and South Mississippi at Stennis space center.