Test Facility Barges and Boats

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Barges and Boats
Apollo 06-21-66.jpg

Center: Stennis Space Center
Location: Hancock County, MS
Year Built: various, most around 1965
Historic Eligibility:
Important Tests: Not a research facility

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[top] History

A variety of specialized vessels were constructed for use on the canal system and inland waterways connecting what is now the Stennis Space Center with the Gulf of Mexico, and several existing vessels were also modified for use at the test facility. This included a fleet of three 270,000 gallon liquid hydrogen barges and six 105,000 gallon liquid oxygen barges (the fuels used by the Saturn V engines), two barges for transporting the Saturn V engines on inland waterways, called the Little Lake and the Pearl River, a seagoing vessel for transporting rockets from California, called the Point Barrow, and a number of towboats, including the custom-built Clermont, the Apollo, and the Bob Fuqua. Other vessels are known to have been used at the facility as well. Additionally, cargo was moved to the facility over inland waterways from the Marshall Space Flight Center, and several vessels owned by A. L. Mechling Barge Lines, Inc., of Joliet, Illinois, the company awarded the contract to move this cargo, served in this role.

[top] Photos

Note that the Clermont and its successor the Clermont II are on a separate page.

[top] Apollo

The Apollo was owned by Gulf Coast Towing Co., Inc., New Orleans. It was just a regular towboat when that company got a contract to work at what was then the Mississippi Test Facility. It was built at Nashville, Tenn. in 1959 by the original owner, The Barrett Line, and was originally named Bonus H. It was 90 by 22.8 feet and had two Caterpillar diesels which totaled 1,200 hp. It was sold in 1965 to Gulf Coast Towing, who added a 55-foot high tower in order for the pilots to see over the high NASA cargoes carried.

[top] Bob Fuqua

Bob Fuqua was built by A. L. Mechling Barge Lines, Inc, in Joliet, Illinois.

[top] Point Barrow

[top] Cargo Barges

[top] Fuel Barges

[top] Documents

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

2009 NASA - Tugboat and Crew

[top] Links

Dick's Towboat Gallery, featuring images and information on these and other towboats

Stennis Image Retrieval System

John C. Stennis Space Center home page

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