12 Facts About Kennedy Space Center


The John F. Kennedy Space Center is one of ten National Aeronautics and Space Administration field centers.

John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963.

Back in the Day at Kennedy Space Center by Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex


Since December 1968, Kennedy Space Center has been NASA's primary launch center of human spaceflight.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.

STS 133 Space Shuttle Discovery Launch - Kennedy Space Center by Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex


Launch operations for the Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs were carried out from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 and managed by KSC.

The Space Shuttle program, officially called the Space Transportation System, was the United States government's manned launch vehicle program from 1981 to 2011, administered by NASA and officially beginning in 1972.

The Space Shuttle was a partially reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft system operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as part of the Space Shuttle program.

Skylab was the United States' first space station, orbiting Earth from 1973 to 1979, when it fell back to Earth amid huge worldwide media attention.


Located on the east coast of Florida, KSC is adjacent to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is an installation of the United States Air Force Space Command's 45th Space Wing, headquartered at nearby Patrick Air Force Base.

Cape Canaveral, from the Spanish Cabo Cañaveral, is a cape in Brevard County, Florida, United States, near the center of the state's Atlantic coast.


The management of the two entities work very closely together, share resources, and even own facilities on each other's property.


Though the first Apollo flights, and all Project Mercury and Project Gemini flights took off from CCAFS, the launches were managed by KSC and its previous organization, the Launch Operations Directorate.


Starting with the fourth Gemini mission, the NASA launch control center in Florida began handing off control of the vehicle to the Mission Control Center shortly after liftoff; prior missions held control throughout the entire mission.


Additionally, the center manages launch of robotic and commercial crew missions, researches food production and In-Situ Resource Utilization for off Earth exploration, and more.

In space exploration, in situ resource utilization is defined as "the collection, processing, storing and use of materials encountered in the course of human or robotic space exploration that replace materials that would otherwise be brought from Earth."


Since 2010, the center has worked to become a multi-user spaceport through industry partnerships, even adding a new launch pad in 2015.

A launch pad is an above-ground platform from which a rocket-powered missile or space vehicle is vertically launched.

A spaceport is a site for launching spacecraft, by analogy with seaport for ships or airport for aircraft.


There are about 700 facilities grouped across the center's 144,000 acres.


Among the unique facilities at KSC are the 525 ft tall Vehicle Assembly Building for stacking NASA's largest rockets, Operations and Checkout Building which houses the astronaut crew quarters, and 3-mile-long Shuttle Landing Facility.

The Vehicle Assembly Building, or VAB, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center is a building designed to assemble large space vehicles, such as the massive Saturn V and the Space Shuttle.


There is also a Visitor Complex open to the public on site.

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