Kennedy Space Center America’s Spaceport.

Kennedy Space Center is one of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) field centers located in Florida and has since served as America’s Spaceport. Kennedy Space Center was named in honor of President John F. Kennedy, who in 1961 proclaimed that the United State of America would put a space explorer on the moon, and take that individual securely back to earth, before the finish of the decade. In 1961, September 1, NASA requested for the purchases of land for Kennedy Space Center of more than 200 square miles on Merritt Island to support the Apollo Lunar Landing Program. In 1962, on the 7th of March, the Launch Operations Center was formally established as an independent NASA field. Though the new facilities was initially called the Launch Operations Directorate (LOD), and it answered to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. In July 1962, the LOD was renamed the Launch Operations Center and measured up with other NASA centers. It got its present name on Nov. 29, 1963, only one week after President Kennedy was killed in Dallas. Kennedy space center has boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. It is where technology and nature co-exist, on the east coast of Florida.

John F. Kennedy Space Center, America's Spaceport in Florida.

Kennedy Space Center has continue to make giant strives to see to it that when it comes to space exploration that America as a nation comes first. Apart from the Apollo 11 mission that brought a major breakthrough, the agency had since with help of Kennedy Director, Bob Cabana, cut the ribbon on the 17th of July, 2015 at the Launch pad, designated 39C that will enable smaller companies to develop and launch rockets. In the words of Kennedy Space center director, Bob Cabana… “As America’s premier spaceport, we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to meet America’s launch needs, and one area that was missing was small class payloads,” Cabana said. “Using 21st Century funds, we built Pad 39C.” Launch pad 39C is open for business for smaller rocket hoping to send satellites.


Historically, Skylab was America’s first manned Earth orbiting space station, however, Soviet Union propelled the world’s first space station (Salyut 1) in 1971. The general targets of Skylab were to find out about space and to have individuals live and work in space for longer periods in a research facility like condition to conduct tests. The space explorers who worked on Skylab performed tests and observations in a good number of fields, including solar astronomy, space physics, Earth observation, geophysics, biological studies, micro-gravity biomedical, micro-gravity technology research and stellar astronomy. Several projects outlined by high school understudies were carried out on Skylab, to boost science and innovation education. From numerous points of view it was a forerunner to today’s International Space Station. In 1973 and 1974, Skylab-1 bolstered three crews of three space explorers each for times of up to 84 days. Service and command modules, similar to the ones utilized for the Apollo program, conveyed space explorers to Skylab and docked with the station. The dispatch of the unmanned Skylab shuttle (i.e., Skylab-1) occurred in 1973, on May 14 from Kennedy Space Center by a two-stage version of a Saturn V rocket which was the last Saturn V to be propelled from pad 39A.

Skylab-1 was propelled in one dispatch and required no on-orbit assembly. Amid the ascent stage, Skylab-1 encountered a few damages. About 63 seconds after liftoff, the telemetry showed a shield deployment and partition of the two noteworthy solar based boards of Skylab-1. The target of the shields was to provide Skylab with thermal protection and micro-meteoroid.

 The shields had vibrated loose and due to atmospheric drag the shield was ripped off, harming one of the solar board leaving debris which delayed sending of the second solar based board…Skylab-1 had, however, accomplished its proposed orbital elevation. Without the shield, temperatures in Skylab taken off to about 52ºC. However, this was put back to the right shape.

missionLaunch dateNo of Earth orbitsReturn flight of crew
Skylab 1May, 14, 1973 (unmanned)34,981 (total)July 11, 1979 (reentry)
Skylab 2May 25, 1973 (manned)404 (28 days)June 22, 1973
Skylab 3July 28, 1973 (manned)858 (59.5 days)Sept. 25, 1973
Skylab 4Nov. 16, 1973 (manned)1,214 (84 days)Feb. 8, 1974


Space Shuttle

Space shuttle, likewise called Space Transportation System, a reusable rocket-propelled vehicle programmed to go into space around Earth, to transport satellite, individuals, and cargo to and from orbiting spacecraft, and on its earth landing takes a gliding form. Space shuttle was designed by U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It lifted off into space on April 12, 1981, for the first time. From its initially dispatch over 30 years back to date, NASA’s Space Shuttle program has seen snapshots of motivation and moment of sadness. In fact, throughout the years about 14 astronauts have lost their lives. The space shuttle framework was comprised of three parts:

  • Two rocket boosters give about 80% of the dispatch push.
  • The outside tank, which gives fuel to the space shuttle.
  • The orbiter. It is the team’s home amid the flight.

The greater part of the segments were reused with the exception of the outside fuel tank. The space shuttle is named after compelling scientific exploration. They were all built in Palmdale, California by Rockwell International.

Thought Enterprise was the first space shuttle; it never flew in space. It was utilized to test basic phases of landing and different parts of shuttle preparation.

Columbia, OV-102, named after Robert Gray, who on May 11, 1792, moved his ship through risky inland waters to investigate British Columbia and what are currently Washington and Oregon. Columbia historically is the first shuttle to fly into space orbit.

Challenger, OV-099, named after the British Naval research vessel HMS Challenger that cruised the Atlantic and Pacific seas amid the 1870s. It was the second operational shuttle and made its initial flight, on April 4, 1983. Challenger facilitated missions that saw space explorers bring the first ever spacewalks with jetpacks, including the main mission to haul a satellite out of orbit, fix it and return it to service.

Discovery, OV-103, named after one of the two ships utilized by the Captain James Cook when he found Hawaii and investigated Alaska and northwestern Canada in the 1770s. It was the third operational shuttle and in August 1984, its made is first flight. It has flown more than other shuttles with 39 missions.

Endeavour, OV-105, named by students in high and elementary schools after a ship chartered to navigate the South Pacific in 1768. It was the last space shuttle designed and was requested to replace Challenger. The shuttle made history in May 1992 amid its first mission .

Atlantis, OV-104, named after research vessel for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts from 1930 to 1966. It was the fourth operational transport and made its initial flight, on Oct. 3, 1985. The shuttle sent to Venus and Jupiter and conveyed NASA’s Destiny research center to the International Space Station.


NASA recently leased pad 39A to SpaceX

Pad 39A has not been operational since the finish of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. However, it was opened for to visitors in mid-2012, and in 2013, NASA started requesting offers for a private rent, saying the pad 39A was at no time in the nearest future required for its own particular projects. An uncrewed Space Launch System test mission is on course for 2017. NASA will utilize Launch Complex 39B as it builds up its own Space Launch System, the overwhelming rocket intended to take space travelers to a near Earth space rock and, in the end, Mars in the 2030s.

However, pad 39A has been the subject of a fight between SpaceX and contender Blue Origin, established by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Blue Origin asked NASA to give different organizations a chance to utilize the pad, however, its proposal was not enough to persuade the Government Accountability Office, opening the entryway for NASA to offer SpaceX the pad in December. SpaceX signed a 20-year lease with NASA to utilize 39A launch pad at America’s Spaceport in Florida. The space agency declared that it had achieved an understanding that would see SpaceX assume control support and operation of Launch Complex 39A, a site that saw the first and last Space Shuttle dispatch, including the Apollo 11 flight that took Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin to the moon. NASA, which has progressively outsourced routine missions to the private division, will at no time in the nearest future take care of the bill for operational upkeep. SpaceX will boost the utilization of pad 39A that will profit the commercial launch industry and every person that wants to experience outer space first hand.

SpaceX will be adjusting pad 39A with the objective of propelling its first Falcon Heavy rocket from Kennedy space center without changing the pad’s historic structures. SpaceX’s breakthroughs symbolizes the drive of NASA’s private industry partnerships, as it progressively puts its assets into immaculate research and experimental missions. While NASA’s work with SpaceX has been praised, it’s at present working towards carrying International Space Station members and in addition cargo, diminishing US reliance on Russia’s Soyuz capsules — particularly now that NASA’s relationship with Russia has become rocky.

Here are a few 360 degree virtual reality (VR) images from around America’s Spaceport photographed by Biz360Tours.


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