...While the aerospace activity is spread throughout the region, three centers have emerged as particularly noteworthy. ...In east New Orleans and west South Mississippi, two federal facilities are deeply involved in creating the next generation of space vehicles,
and more. NASA chose Michoud Assembly Facility as the location where some of the next generation of space vehicles will be fabricated. Just a few miles away John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi is where NASA tests propulsion systems. It's also the location where Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
assembles the RS-68 engine and Lockheed Martin produces satellite components. Rolls-Royce also tests its large Trent series engines at Stennis. By 2010, this area will also host the INFINITY Science Center, two miles east of the Louisiana and Mississippi state line. It has as its mission educating the public about the important science and technology work done by the scientists at Stennis Space Center. ...To the east, aircraft assembly holds sway. In Moss Point Northrop Grumman assembles portions of the Global Hawk and Fire Scout unmanned aerial systems, while further to the east in Mobile Europe's EADS and Northrop still hope to assemble aerial refueling tankers. ...Further east near Fort Walton Beach and Crestview, Eglin Air Force Base is a center for aerial weapons development and testing. ...While aerospace manufacturing is still relatively small, it promises to grow. EADS has already said that it plans to build, in addition to tankers, cargo planes in Mobile. In addition, it’s unlikely that the aerospace industry will follow the lead of other manufacturing segments and leave for foreign soil. It's considered one of the nation’s key strategic assets. Indeed, just the opposite is happening as European and Asian companies seek to get a piece of the U.S. defense pie. The Department of Defense will continue to support the industry to keep it in the United States.