Kennedy Space Center


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Kennedy Space Center

(ken -ĕ-dee) (KSC) A NASA establishment at Cape Canaveral, Florida, from which many of the agency's satellites are launched. It is also the chief launch site for crewed spaceflights and is used for space shuttle payload integration and launching. Alan B. Shepard Jr., the United States' first astronaut, made his historic suborbital flight from this site in 1961, and it was also the starting point for Apollo 11's journey to the Moon in 1969. The site, on Merritt Island, comprises launchpads, runways, and space vehicle assembly areas.

Cape Canaveral began to be used as a missile-testing base by the US Air Force during the 1950s. In 1958, the newly created NASA came to Cape Canaveral and soon began building its Launch Operations Center, a spaceport and space-vehicle assembly facility, there. In 1963, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the missile base and spaceport were integrated into the Kennedy Space Center. The surrounding area of Cape Canaveral was renamed Cape Kennedy in his memory. Changing the name of the whole cape proved unpopular with the local community, however, and it reverted to its previous name in 1973.

Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral) U.S.

launch site for manned space missions. [U.S. Hist.: WB, So:562]
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