...If ever there was an organization that benefited from not having all its eggs
in one basket, it would have to be NASA’s Stennis Space Center.
...Despite months of uncertainty about the direction NASA would take, SSC
knew it would have plenty to do. Its involvement in NASA programs,
commercial engine testing and support of other federal agencies that call SSC
home bode well for 2011 and beyond.
...“I can tell you without any hesitation, this place is unique, from the test
facilities to the buffer zone,” said Patrick Scheuermann, director of Stennis
Space Center. “It is continually being looked at in a favorable light.”
...SSC, with an economic impact of some $875 million, is a major engine for
South Mississippi. And while Scheuermann is unwilling to say growth is in the
cards, he will say that SSC is not in a declining mode.
...Scheuermann said the two parallel paths being pursued at SSC are the
development of commercial engines for cargo flights and support of the NASA
heavy-lift mission. Both projects go well beyond 2011, he said.
...For Stennis, involvement in both means continued work. As of late
November, there were at least 22 engine tests scheduled during 2011. Sixteen
tests are scheduled for the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68. Six other
tests are scheduled for the Aerojet AJ26, the liquid-fueled engine Orbital
Science Corp. will use to power the first stage of its Taurus II space launch
vehicle. Those tests directly supports NASA's partnerships to enable
commercial cargo flights to the International Space Station.
...In addition, Rolls-Royce will continue testing the company’s Trent 900 and
1000 aircraft engines. A Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine will be tested at
Stennis in 2011.
...Going beyond 2011, Scheuermann thinks the migration of society from
industrial to an information age will bode well for SSC. Long the home of a
Navy supercomputer, SSC also has a foothold in the field of record retention
and data management.
...SSC is home to the 64-acre campus of the National Center for Critical
Information Processing and Storage, a Department of Homeland Security data
center. DHS is consolidating more than two dozen centers into just two. The
other center is in Virginia.
...NCCIPS is at the former Mississippi Army Ammunition plant, a 4,400-acre
site that became a NASA SSC asset in April 2010. The consolidation will
continue during 2011, and is slated to be completed in 2014.
...A ribbon-cutting was held in August at SSC for a new storm-resistant
Records Retention Facility, which consolidates and protects records storage.
This facility will also house history office operations. The records retention
facility now serves as a central location for all NASA records at Stennis.
...As the nation moves toward more information-related jobs and with SSC
having these types of assets, “it’s natural for us to play a role.”
...NASA is not in the field of economic development, but the state of
Mississippi is, said Scheuermann. He said NASA in 2011 will continue
working with the state, the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology and
Hancock County officials to spur growth.
...“I don’t ever forget there were five towns that made way for Stennis,”
Scheuermann said. “Every chance I can maximize growth, we’re going to look
to do that.”
SSC's diverse activities bodes well