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NASA John C. Stennis Space Center

The John C. Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi is one of ten NASA field centers in the United States. It is home to America's largest rocket engine test complex where every space shuttle main engine is tested and future engines and stages will be tested for returning astronauts to the moon with possible journeys beyond. Because of its important role in engine testing for four decades, Stennis is NASA's program manager for rocket propulsion testing with total responsibility for conducting and/or managing all NASA propulsion test programs. Currently, Stennis tests all space shuttle main engines. These high-performance, liquid-fueled engines provide most of the total impulse needed during the shuttle's eight and one-half-minute-flight to orbit. All shuttle main engines must pass a series of test firings (video, below right) at Stennis prior to being installed in the back of the orbiter (video, below left). In 2010, the Space Shuttle Program will end and a new fleet of launch vehicles will power America's next-generation spacecraft, Orion, which will carry astronauts back to the moon with possible journeys beyond the lunar surface. Stennis is testing core components for the J-2X rocket engine that will power the upper stage of the new crew launch vehicle, Ares I, and the Earth departure stage of Ares V, the new cargo launch vehicle. The J-2X engine is derived from Apollo's Saturn V rockets that were tested at Stennis more than 40 years ago. A cluster of six RS-68B rocket engines will power the core stage of the Ares V, intended to carry large payloads to the moon. The engines are upgraded versions of those currently used in the Delta IV, developed in the 1990s by the U.S. Air Force for its Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program and commercial launch applications. All RS-68 engines are assembled and test-fired at Stennis.

MIssissippi Band of Choctaw Indians

Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is under the leadership of Tribal Chief, Phyliss J. Anderson. MBCI currently has an enrolled membership of over 10,000. It is the only federally-recognized tribe in the State of Mississippi.

Headquartered in the Pearl River Community near Philadelphia, Mississippi, the Tribe has emerged as a leader in economic development. The Tribe provides a range of governmental services for its members including schools, a hospital, medical clinics, police and fire protection, courts, an elderly center, among many others.

For more information about the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, please visit the official website www.choctaw.org or call the Office of Public Information at (601) 663-7532.