If you’re looking for a learning adventure or need someplace to take your visiting in-laws that will really impress them, you need to check out the INFINITY Science Center. Everyone from the little ones to great-grandparents will enjoy the official visitor’s center for the NASA Stennis Space Center. In case you didn’t know, the northern Gulf Coast teems with cutting-edge military, petroleum, and space organizations, as well as ship building, weather research, chemical manufacturing, and oceanic research. INFINITY aims to be the Gulf Coast center for education in earth and space sciences.
What INFINITY Science Center Offers
The INFINITY Science Center boasts a 35,000-square-foot facility that has outdoor and indoor exhibits. Outside, you can examine an enormous F-1 rocket engine, a U.S. Navy training boat for riverine, and a tsunami buoy. You’ll get a kick out of the Big Blue Blocks that you can play with and create your own gizmos.
You’ll learn that the Venus flytrap isn’t the only carnivorous plant around; there are more than 200 in the Science Express Gallery. The Immersion Theater will take you on a trip to Mars and to the sun’s surface.
The Earth and Space Galleries are packed with artifacts on loan from the Smithsonian, video theaters, simulators, and a full-size model of the International Space Station’s Destiny module that you can walk through. The Space Gallery features the history of NASA’s space programs from before Apollo through Gemini to the International Space Station. You’ll also see the first stage of the Apollo 19 Saturn V, whose mission was canceled.
In the Space Gallery, you can try your hand at landing the Space Shuttle or sit in the Orion space capsule and watch a video about it. Kids of all ages will have fun at the paper airplane exhibit, where they can design and make their own aircraft. See space suits, rocket engine parts, and a moon rock brought back by Apollo 15. This growing museum area has such fascinating artifacts as a pirogue that plied the Pearl River waters 150 years ago.
Then there are the rides that rival those at an amusement park. You can experience the ISC OMEGA Flight Simulator, which is the same as professional pilots train in. Choose from six themed rides, including the space flight ride that compares to the Saturn V that rocketed astronauts to the moon.
When Should You Go and What Not to Miss
INFINITY Science Center offers Senior Wednesday for the seasoned visitors and a homeschool program that caters to homeschooling families, as well as other educational programs. When you get hungry after all that space flight, the CaFe will fill your tummy. The Odyssey Gift Shop has great souvenirs to take home. You can also get Astronaut Ice Cream there — the same treat the astronauts enjoy on the International Space Station.
Nissan of Picayune, Mississippi, is the place to go to get a new or quality used car that will take you to the INFINITY Science Center.