HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. – StenniSphere, Stennis Space Center’s award-winning
visitors center,
will reopen to the public Jan. 28. The visitor center had been closed to the
public since
Sept. 11 and began accepting visits from school groups in November.

Visitors will begin their fascinating journey to StenniSphere at the Launch
Pad at the
I-10 Welcome Center in Hancock County. From there they will board a shuttle
bus for a
guided tour of the center and America’s largest rocket test complex.

Then, it’s on to StenniSphere where guests will be invited to take a spin on
a new
highlight – the Spaceball Gyro Chair. The chair, based on the design of
NASA’s Gyroscope
Trainer, lets riders experience what it’s like to be trained like an

Visitors can also experience StenniSphere’s all-new stage show, "Oh My
We’ve Landed on Mars!" The audience joins astronauts Cosmo and Dr. Halley
Comet on an
entertaining adventure as they "crash land" on the surface of Mars and
conduct highly
scientific and hilarious research. The show, to be presented in the
StenniSphere auditorium
Monday through Friday at 11 a.m., promises a great time while conveying some
amazing facts.

StenniSphere has welcomed 340,000 visitors since it initially opened in May
2000, and in
February 2001 was the recipient of the Mississippi Tourism Bureau’s Travel
Attraction of
the Year honor. The visitor center includes more than 14,000 square feet of
exhibits, which, along with the outdoor rockets, engines, buoys and aircraft
reflect the
history and missions of Stennis Space Center and the local area.

Added features are a motion simulator ride that takes visitors on a trip to
Mars and under
the sea and a gift shop with space-related merchandise.

StenniSphere is free of charge and is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
except for
Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. All
begin at the Launch Pad at the I-10 Welcome Center in Hancock County. For
or to book group tours, call 1-800-237-1821 (Option 1) in Mississippi and
or visit the Web site at www.ssc.nasa.gov.