Wednesday, April 11, 2012

SSC gets new research center

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- NASA's Stennis Space Center will be the home of the National Oceans and Applications Research Center, Gov. Phil Bryant said Wednesday at the ribbon-cutting for the Infinity Science Center. NOARC will combine the capabilities of NASA, NOAA and the Navy to analyze and understand the Gulf of Mexico watershed and other oceans NOAA monitors. Bryant said the center will be the "Woods Hole of the South," a reference to the world-renown center in Massachusetts. NOARC data could be used to develop environmental management best practices, identify optimal sites to build infrastructure and help guide coastal restoration efforts. NOARC will leverage a partnership with the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology to help encourage the development of small businesses that benefit from NOARC data. NOARC will be funded with remaining monies that BP granted to Mississippi during the response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion. The center will receive initial funding of $500,000 to provide for basic startup needs. (Sources: Sun Herald, WLOX-TV, press release, 04/11/12) Stennis Space Center is home to 30 agencies, including NASA and NOAA. It's also the center for the Navy's oceanographic work.