Sending Man to the Moon

Sending Man to the Moon

When you think of the great achievements mankind has made, one of the greatest was sending man to the moon. The heart of that effort was located along Florida's east coast where we had been testing rocket flight for over a decade. June 11, 1957: The first launching attempt of an Atlas missile from Cape Canaveral was made, but it exploded shortly after takeoff, at about 10,000 feet. A few months later a Thor missile was launched from Cape Canaveral, but exploded 96 seconds later. On October 4 of that year, the Soviet Union successfully launched the first, Earth satellite, Sputnik I. The race was on to conquer space travel and be the first to successfully land men on the moon. The following year National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created by congress for the peaceful exploration of outer space. During that year missile launches were almost a weekly occurrence at Cape Canaveral. Later that year, NASA announced the formation of the Project Mercury program that would be America's first attempt to put a man in space. From those early days of space exploration, America had many successes and several disasters. Visitors to the Kennedy Space Center can see many of those rockets used during the early days when they walk through the Rocket Garden where a number of important rockets are located, including the Atlas missile used in Project Mercury that first put an American into space.

Doorway to the Universe

Doorway to the Universe

Kennedy Space Center is the gateway to space exploration. Based on a rich heritage of overcoming challenges and succeeding, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida is an ideal spot to see and even experience some of those challenges first hand. Located on Florida's east coast, and less than an hour's drive from Orlando, the center makes for an ideal day trip to get away from the theme parks and still have a great time for both those old enough to remember the early days, and those just now forming an impression of America's changing space mission. Although the shuttle program has ended, visitors to the Kennedy Space Center can still experience what previous astronauts experienced during a shuttle liftoff. Feel the bone-jarring thrust of the shuttle's main engines, the incredible G-force your body feels as your simulator gathers speed to escape Earth's gravitational force. All of this and more at the "Shuttle Launch Experience" a new feature of the Kennedy Space Center. The future will still involve the Kennedy Space Center. In 2011, it was announced that NASA plans to continue investing in human space exploration and that the Kennedy Space Center will become the newest 21st Century Space Port. The next decade will be a time of redevelopment and renewal, similar to what happened here after the end of the Apollo missions and the beginning of the Shuttle missions.

Apollo / Saturn 5 Center

Apollo / Saturn 5 Center

Apollo / Saturn V Center Millions of people held their breath while a single man stepped onto the moon's surface – a journey that began just a short distance from where the Apollo/Saturn V Center stands today. See the largest rocket ever made For those who remember, the event remains in their minds just as those footprints remain in the lunar soil. Here, in a spacious facility featuring a real Saturn V rocket, the Apollo program returns spectacularly to life. The Apollo/Saturn V Center is a tribute to the Apollo astronauts and the machines that got them there – and brought them home safely.

Cape Canaveral

After World War II a number of German rocket scientists defected to the USA, continuing their work. Early testing was done at White Sands New Mexico. With the successful launch of these V-2 rockets, they began experimenting with a 2nd stage rocket that sat atop of the V-2. These became known as a bumper rocket.

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