Cape Canaveral is the largest US launch center located in Florida . Known as Cape Kennedy from 1963 to 1973 it is part of a region known as the Space Coast, and is the site of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Since many U.S. spacecraft are launched from both the station and the Kennedy Space Center the area has become internationally recognized.Today , only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located near Cape Canaveral area is the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island.
In 1947 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station was selected as the site for a U.S. Missile Testing Range. Cape Canaveral was chosen for rocket launches to take advantage of the Earth’s rotation. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida has played an important role in the space program and missile testing in the United States . The first missile, a German V-2 rocket, was launched on July 14, 1950 . First rocket launch from the Cape Canaveral was Bumper 8 on July 24, 1950. During the following three years, facilities were constructed for the testing of cruise-type missile weapons including the Matador, Snark and Bomark. Launch Complex 26 launched Explorer I, the first U.S. satellite, on January 31, 1958 and was the site of the launch of primates Ham, Gordo, Able and Baker in tests that paved the way for Alan Shepard’s Mercury flight. On February 6, 1959 the first successful test firing of a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile was accomplished. NASA’s Project Mercury and Gemini space flights were launched from Cape Canaveral, as was Apollo 7 , but the rest of the Apollo and all of the Space Shuttle missions were launched from the Kennedy Space Center on adjacent Merritt Island.
A total of 10 Gemini launches were flown from Cape Canaveral in 1965 and 1966, marking the beginning of sophisticated manned space flight. Two of the largest and most advanced launch facilities built at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station by NASA were also launched . Here, the first of 15 launches of the Saturn space vehicle occurred on October 27, 1961. Launch Complex 34 was also the site of the 1967 fire that claimed the lives of astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffe.These .
A gradual decline occurred in most operations at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which could no longer house new rocket facilities. Most operations, including the remainder of the Apollo launches, were transferred to nearby John F. Kennedy Space Center.
Cape Canaveral vs Cape Kennedy
From 1963 to 1973, the area was re-named Cape Kennedy after President John F. Kennedy witch set the goal of landing on the moon. After his assassination in 1963 President Lyndon Johnson recommended the renaming . Although the name change was approved by the United States Board on Geographic Names, it was not popular in Florida, especially in the city of Cape Canaveral. In 1973 the Florida Legislature passed a law restoring the former 400-year-old name, and the Board went along. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is still keeping the live memory of the brave president .