Launch photos from the Space Coast's Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
The John F. Kennedy Space Center
) is one of ten National Aeronautics and Space Administration field centers
. Since December 1968, Kennedy Space Center has been NASA's primary launch center of human spaceflight. Launch operations for the Apollo
and Space Shuttle
programs were carried out from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39
and managed by KSC.
Located on the east coast of Florida, KSC is adjacent to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
(CCAFS). The management of the two entities work very closely together, share resources, and even own facilities on each other's property.
Though the first Apollo flights, and all Project Mercury
and Project Gemini
flights took off from CCAFS, the launches were managed by KSC and its previous organization, the Launch Operations Directorate.
Starting with the fourth Gemini mission, the NASA launch control center in Florida (Mercury Control Center
, later the Launch Control Center
) began handing off control of the vehicle to the Mission Control Center
shortly after liftoff; prior missions held control throughout the entire mission.
Additionally, the center manages launch of robotic and commercial crew missions, researches food production and In-Situ Resource Utilization
for off Earth exploration,
and more. Since 2010, the center has worked to become a multi-user spaceport
through industry partnerships,
even adding a new launch pad (LC-39C
) in 2015.
There are about 700 facilities grouped across the center's 144,000 acres.
Among the unique facilities at KSC are the 525 ft tall Vehicle Assembly Building
for stacking NASA's largest rockets, Operations and Checkout Building
which houses the astronaut crew quarters, and 3-mile-long Shuttle Landing Facility
. There is also a Visitor Complex
open to the public on site.