John F. Kennedy Space Center
Merritt Island, Florida
John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is a NASA field center located on the east coast of Florida. Established in 1962 as the Launch Operations Center, the facility managed space missions for Projects Mercury and Gemini that departed from the adjacent Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. KSC became a launch site itself in 1967 when NASA began using the Saturn V launch vehicle for Project Apollo. (The Center’s Launch Complex 39 was specifically designed to accommodate the 363-foot tall, 7,500,000-pound-force rocket.) With Apollo 8 in December 1968, the facility became NASA’s primary launch center for human spaceflight. KSC’s Launch Control Center conducted a total of 13 Saturn V and four Saturn IB launches, including ten Apollo missions as well as the launch of the Skylab space station and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. The Center subsequently served as the launch and landing facility for the Space Shuttle Orbiter. Today, KSC continues to perform NASA launch operations, serving as the primary site for upcoming Space Launch System missions. Within the past few years, the Center also began opening its facilities to commercial ventures.