Canal System

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Canal System
Lock in the canal

Center: Stennis Space Center
Location: Hancock County, MS
Year Built: 1964
Historic Eligibility: Pending evaluation
Important Tests: Not a research facility

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[top] History

One reason for the decision to build the engine test facility which became the Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi was the proximity to navigable to water, as barges were the preferred method of transport for the huge Saturn engines. In order to make this possible, 15 miles of the Pearl River had to be dredged and 7.5 miles of canals had to be dug to connect the test site itself to the river. This canal system includes a set of locks similar to those used on the Panama Canal, and is crossed by a bascule bridge (a type of drawbridge). A small fleet of specialized boats were built as part of this project, including several barges, a seagoing ship for transporting rockets from California, and a unique towboat called the Clermont.

[top] Photos

[top] Documents

1997 Herring - Way Station to Space: A History of the John C. Stennis Space Center

2009 NASA - Tugboat and Crew

[top] Links

Stennis Image Retrieval System

John C. Stennis Space Center home page

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