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The Significance Of The Kennedy Space Center

By Antonia Čirjak February 02 2020

NASA. Credit: Kelleher Photography / Shutterstock.com
NASA. Credit: Kelleher Photography / Shutterstock.com

Humans have shown interest in the exploration of space for as long as we can remember: from the early days of mapping the stars manually, to modern-day technologies that bring us closer to understanding what kind of mysteries are hidden in deep space. The Kennedy Space Center is undoubtedly one of the most fruitful projects humankind has ever created. 

Center For All Regarding Aeronautics And Space Exploration

In 1958, President D. D. Eisenhower green-lighted this important endeavor by signing a law that marked the start of NASA. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration started its research on October 1, 1958. Three years later, NASA needed to find an adequate location to conduct missions of the Apollo Lunar Landing program. The land they wanted to purchase was occupying 200 square miles of Merritt Island, Florida. In proximity to Cape Canaveral, that area is the one we know as the Kennedy Space Center. 

In 1963, President L. Johnson denominated the area to ‘’John F. Kennedy Space Center’’, and Cape Canaveral became ‘’Kennedy Air Force Station’’. However, in the most recent years, both the Air Force Station and the Kennedy Space Center are referred to as ‘’Cape Canaveral Spaceport’’ - which suggests the ever-expanding collaboration between the two and, to some extent, predicts the future for the whole Florida Space Coast. 

Launch Control Center

Rockets get launched into space from the Launch Control Center. At the same time, the Operations and Checkout Building serves as a residence for the astronauts. Operations and Checkout facilities started with work in 1964, and they served as a testing ground for the Apollo missions. The spaceships that are coming back to Earth land in the Shuttle Landing Facility, on a 3-mile (4.8 km) long runway. If you ever wish to visit KSC, you can do that by touring the Visitor Complex. 

When the KSC first started with their Apollo, Project Gemini, and Project Mercury missions, all of them were handled by KSC, from Mercury Control Center that was later renamed to Launch Control Center. After the third Gemini mission, all control after liftoff was transferred to the Mission Control Center in Houston, and astronauts speak directly to them about anything that is mission-related.

Ideal Field For Technological Advancements

The Kennedy Space Center has served a crucial role in all of the missions that were initiated by NASA. From there, hundreds and thousands of missions started, and ended, as KSC is the base that deals with spacecraft that come back from space exploration. KSC was also the center of our first Moon expeditions. On top of it all, KSC is a place that manages research in robotics and different projects that experiment with different ways of food production. 

All of this is possible because there are around 700 different buildings in the KSC. All of them now spread across 144 thousand acres (which is about 580 square kilometers). One of the most impressive constructions found there is the Vehicle Assembly Building - a 525-foot (160 m) tall building that can hold NASA’s biggest aircraft and rockets.

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