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Space History Photo: Rocket Barge on the Pearl River

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The free world's largest rocket booster is being pushed up Pearl River to a Mississippi testing facility. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, a barge is pushed on Pearl River. During the early 1700's French settlers once cautiously sailed up the beautiful Pearl River in Hancock County looking for a New World home. Later, swashbuckling pirates took refuge in this historic stream in South Mississippi after raiding merchant ships.

In this 1966 picture, a different cargo leaves a wake in the blue waters en route to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Mississippi Test Facility. The huge barge being pushed above contains the free world's largest rocket booster, on its way to the national rocket testing facility for extensive captive firings. Later versions of this huge rocket, first stage of the Apollo/Saturn V, will boost the first Americans to the Moon.

Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

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U.S. Space Agency

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: nasa.gov