A New, State of
the Art Science Center and Visitor Attraction at the NASA Stennis Space
MS Gulf Coast Convention and
Filed 8/25/06 GCN
The world-class INFINITY science, technology
and visitor's center near the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County is
moving closer to reality. Infinity promises to engage visitors of all ages
in exploring our earth, oceans and
space through the work of the scientists, engineers and pioneers at work
every day at the Stennis Space Center. The $35 million 72,000 square foot
facility is scheduled to open early in 2007.
The Infinity complex will house, among other exhibits, the
National Hurricane Museum on the spot where both Hurricane Katrina and
Hurricane Camille (1969) made landfall. Combined with the Frank Gehry-designed
Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, INFINITY and world-class gaming and vacation
resorts will provide the destination attractions necessary to meet the
Mississippi Gulf Coast’s goal to become a Tier One Destination.
The project concept and design resulted from
a public-private partnership between NASA and MAST, Inc. (a non profit
501(c)3 charitable organization chartered in Mississippi by a group of
area business leaders to work
with NASA on the project).
Facts about INFINITY at NASA Stennis Space Center:
Visitors will explore three primary
galleries: earth, science and oceans focused on three common themes:
remote sensing, testing, and planning and protecting.
It will be fun, dynamic,
immersive--attracting a diverse array of visitors.
It will incorporate assets of StenniSphere
and the Educator Resource Center.
One of the world's foremost experiential
design firms--ESI Design based in New York--created the physical and
intellectual visitor experience with input from the community.
NASA funded $5 million to date and has
budgeted another $4 million toward completion of the project.
MAST has begun raising the remaining $26
million through public and private gifts.
A recreation market analysis study
conducted by Harrison Price indicates that INFINITY is expected to draw
260,000 to 362,000 visitors annually.
Financial self-sufficiency is expected for
the science center and visitor attraction, based solely on revenues
earned from admissions, merchandise and food and beverage sales.
Site preparation for INFINITY is scheduled
to begin during summer 2004 with a formal groundbreaking in 2005. Doors
will open in 2007.
Expected to draw more than 300,000
Edwin Schlossberg and EIS Design prepared
renderings of the science center and visitor attraction.
INFINITY at NASA Stennis Space Center will be the only one if its kind.
"It brings exploration and discovery to life for visitors of all ages, who
look at our world from many perspectives," said Leo W. Seal, Jr., Chairman
of MAST. "We are breaking new ground in science education that we hope
will draw new waves of explorers into careers in science, engineering and
Katrina One Year Later Committee was formed in Spring 2006 as a result of
a few members of the community who are dedicated to gathering and
compiling current information and statistics from the coastal counties and
serving as a resource to which all local spokespersons, public information
officers and national media outlets can refer.
Center - Partners for Stennis