SP-4310 Way Station to Space


- [441-442] John C. Stennis Space Center

Chronology of Significant Events -


Oct. 25, 1961:

NASA announces decision to establish national rocket test site in Hancock County, Mississippi.

Dec. 18, 1961:

Site officially named Mississippi Test Operations (MTO).

May 17, 1963:

Workmen cut first tree to start clearing the test area for construction.

July 1, 1965:

MTO designated Mississippi Test Facility (MTF).

April 23, 1966:

First Saturn V rocket booster (S-II-T) tested at Mississippi Test Facility.

Sept. 9, 1970:

NASA announces Earth Resources Laboratory will locate at MTF.

March 1, 1971:

Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) testing assigned to MTF.

June 14, 1974:

MTF renamed National Space Technology Laboratories (NSTL).

May 19, 1975:

First Space Shuttle Main Engine tested at NSTL.

May 28, 1976:

Flag-raising ceremony marks the official move of the Naval Oceanographic Program to NSTL.

April 21, 1978:

First system test of Space Shuttle Main Propulsion Test Article conducted-including three SSMEs tested simultaneously.

June 11, 1987:

Mississippi Technology Transfer Center dedication held.

Feb. 25, 1988:

NSTL conducts 1,000th test firing of a Space Shuttle Main Engine.

May 9, 1988:

NSTL assigned key role for space remote sensing commercialization.

May 20, 1988:

NSTL renamed John C. Stennis Space Center by Executive order of President Ronald Reagan.

Jan. 18, 1989:

Construction begins on the Component Test Facility to test turbopump machinery for rocket propulsion systems.

Aug. 20, 1990:

First time SSME tests are conducted on all three test stands in one day.

Dec. 30, 1991:

NASA Administrator designates SSC Center of Excellence for large propulsion system testing.

July 24, 1992:

Space Shuttle Main Engine program achieves 2,000th test firing.

Aug. 11, 1993:

High Heat Flux Facility dedicated. The facility tests materials to be used for hypersonic spacecraft of the future.

May 1,1994:

SSME test operations program management transferred from Marshall Space Flight Center to SSC.

May 26, 1995:

SSC completes testing on new Block I configuration SSME.

March 16, 1995:

First test conducted on a sub-scale cryogenic fuel tank for the X-33 Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) program.

May 19, 1996:

Endeavour is the first Space Shuttle to fly three Block I SSMEs, all tested at SSC.

May 30, 1996:

NASA designates SSC as lead center to manage capabilities and assets for rocket propulsion testing.

July 2,1996:

NASA Headquarters announces SSC will conduct and manage engine component testing for the X-33 for the RLV program.

Nov. 24, 1996:

SSC designated as NASA's lead center for implementing commercial remote sensing activities.