Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is a spaceport in Florida, United States. It is situated at west of Cape Canaveral, and is part of a region known as the "Space Coast", since all of the crewed United States spacecraft are launched from the Space Coast.
The Kennedy Space Center was formed under Marshall Space Flight Center in December 1959. It was known as Launch Operations Directorate. Due to the expansions necessary for crewed Moon landing missions, on July 1, 1962, Launch Operations Directorate became a separate entity known as Launch Operations Center (LOC). Major buildings of LOC's industrial area were designed by architect Charles Luckman.
The LOC was renamed Kennedy Space Center on November 29, 1963, to honor the President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated seven days earlier.
Kennedy Space Center hosted several human spaceflight programs. Apollo 11 was launched on July 11, 1969 from KSC to land two men on the Moon. Skylab, the first space station of the United States, was also launched from KSC in 1973, followed by four crewed missions.
Kennedy Space Center was converted for Space Shuttles in 1970s. The first Shuttle launch took place in 1981 from KSC, followed by 132 successful missions, with two great disasters. The last flight of Space Shuttle was debut in 2011 from KSC.
Most components to build the International Space Station, the current habitable artificial satellite, were launched from KSC, starting from 1998. Those components are manufactured from Space Station Processing Facility in KSC.
Until 2017, rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center were exclusively operated by NASA, a government space agency. Since 2017, rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center are exclusively operated by SpaceX, a private company.
Kennedy Space Center should be distinguished with Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), a military installation operated by United States Space Force (USSF), a military agency.
- Highway 50 - This east-west road connects Titusville (North Brevard) to Orlando. It has stoplights and traffic.
- Interstate 95 (I-95) - runs north south all the way up the east coast of the USA. In Brevard it is west of most developed areas, but a great uncongested way to get from one end of the county to another, or to access major east-west highways.
- U.S. Highway 1 (U.S. 1) - again, runs all the way up the east coast of the USA. However, this is a busy city road with lots of stoplights and traffic (however, in between the south, central and north areas of the county it is a convenient drive).
There appears to be no public transportation service to Kennedy Space Center.
- 1 Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (Just to the west of Orsino on Florida State Road 405, between Range Road and East Avenue SW), toll-free: . Daily 9AM-6PM; some holidays -7PM or -8PM. This busy tourist attraction offers museums, movies, a rocket garden and bus tours of former shuttle preparation and launch facilities. This is an official federal site — however, the visitor complex is run by contractors for a profit, so prices are comparable to private tourist attractions, not a typical national park. Basic admission (a 1 day pass) includes an excellent bus tour (including the complimentary bus tour of Launch Complex 39 and the Apollo/Saturn V Center), the museums (including the exhibit featuring the Space Shuttle Atlantis), and the IMAX movies. Additional special tours or programs should be booked in advance since they sell out quickly. NOTE: this facility may *sometimes* be closed on launch days! 1-day adult $50, children (3-11) $40. Discounts and other passes available. Parking $10.
- View a rocket launch: NASA keeps a list of Brevard County parks where rocket launches can be viewed. They also provide limited opportunities to view launches through the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Kennedy Space Center's Gift shop is a treasure trove of astronaut autographs.