DescriptionForty-seven miles east of Orlando via the Beachline Expressway (toll) or SR 50, the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is accessible from the mainland off US 1, 6 miles across the SR 405 causeway over the Indian River, or from the beaches across the SR 520 or 528 causeways to Merritt Island, then north on SR 3 and Space Commerce Way. The center is located within the 140,000-acre Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and extends some 34 miles along the coast.
Since 1981, when Columbia flew into Earth's orbit, through July 2011, when the last shuttle was launched, Kennedy Space Center has been the launch and landing site for the space shuttle, NASA's reusable space transportation system. It is home to two launch pads, one of the world's longest runways and the nation's third-largest building, the Vehicle Assembly Building. KSC also is the only place in the world where man has launched from Earth and traveled to the moon.
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, east of the space center, was the site of the historic Mercury and Gemini flights, including America's first suborbital space flight taken by Navy Cmdr. Alan B. Shepard Jr. on May 5, 1961, and the country's first manned orbital flight by Marine Lt. Col. John H. Glenn Jr. on Feb. 20, 1962. Cape Canaveral is now the site for unmanned rocket launches. For additional information about Kennedy Space Center, phone (866) 737-5235.
Things to SeeKennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
The facility operates as America's center of space operations.