WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLOX) - Sen. Roger Wicker, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Rep. Steven Palazzo welcomed an announcement from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration that the agency will continue rocket testing at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.
The Green Run rocket testing will test the first Space Launch System core stage to ensure safety and performance, according to the announcement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
“This is terrific news for Mississippi’s role in the Space Launch System program. We’ve long advocated Stennis as the best location for the next stage of engine propulsion testing, and it’s great that the leadership at NASA now agrees. The decision continues the tradition of the saying that if you want to go to space, you’ve got to first go through Mississippi,” Hyde-Smith said.
Currently under development, SLS will be the world’s most powerful rocket when completed and is the linchpin the NASA Artemis deep space exploration program. The Artemis program will bring American astronauts back to the Moon by 2024.
“The Green Run test is a critical step in the development of the Space Launch System rocket and will help protect the taxpayers’ significant investment in this project,” Wicker said. “Administrator Bridenstine’s decision to go forward with the Green Run is a vote of confidence in Stennis Space Center and its dedicated workforce. The road back to the Moon and on to Mars runs through Hancock County.”
In order to expedite the launch of Artemis 1, the Core Stage Green Run testing of the SLS was potentially going to be bypassed. When these concerns were raised, Palazzo sent a letter to Bridenstine underscoring the importance of the Core Stage Green Run test to continue being performed at Stennis Space Center.
“For nearly six decades, rocket engine testing has remained in the capable hands of the men and women at Stennis Space Center,” Palazzo said. “As NASA’s largest rocket engine testing facility, it is imperative that Stennis Space Center continue supporting NASA’s mission to launch Americans back into space. I am always proud and overly-impressed with the work being done in Hancock County and know that reliable and safe engines will continue being tested at Stennis for years to come.”
To read the full announcement, CLICK HERE.