The Stennis Space Center Visitors Center in south Mississippi has been chosen as a partner site in the new, on-going Star Station One program. It is one of only 60 museums in the United States chosen to be a Star Station One site.
This national program is designed to build awareness of the International Space Station. The Visitors Center will offer timely demonstrations and programs to educate and excite the public about the International Space Station.
The International Space Station is the largest international peacetime project in history with 16 countries currently contributing resources and hardware to the endeavor. Once completed, the space station will be a state-of-the-art, multipurpose laboratory in Earth orbit that will provide a facility for discoveries in fields such as science, technology and medicine. NASA expects it will take approximately 45 launches and hundreds of pieces to assemble the space station over a five-year period.
Stennis Space Center's role in constructing the space station has been to test the Block 2-A Space Shuttle Main Engines. Deploying space station hardware demanded that the shuttle carry an additional 16,000 pounds of payload into orbit. The Block 2-A engines are more rugged and reliable than previous main engines. Their improved performance in power will help the shuttle carry the heavy space station equipment into orbit.
The Star Station One public education program was developed and organized by Bishop Museum of Honolulu, Hawaii, in cooperation with Space Center Houston. Sponsorship of this public education program is provided by The Boeing Company.
Each partner site will be provided with a detailed 1/144th scale space station model to display throughout the space station's construction. Each site will also be provided with a 1/50th scale "build-as-you-go" modules to replicate construction of the International Space Station as it evolves. At the end of three years, each museum will have constructed a complete International Space Station model, including its living quarters, working spaces and research modules.
For the next three years, Bishop Museum will provide Star Station OneTM centers and museums with a series of interactive demonstrations that will focus on timely issues. For example, the first demonstration will show how the station's construction elements will be launched into orbit and joined together in space. The entertaining and informative presentations will allow the public to have continuous, up-to-the-minute knowledge of the station.