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JOHN F. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899

Kennedy  Space  Center  (KSC)  is  located  on  the  east  coast of
Florida, 150 miles south of Jacksonville and approximately 50 miles
east of  Orlando.   It  is  immediately  north  and  west  of  Cape
Canaveral.  The  center  is about 34 miles long and varies in width
from 5 to 10 miles.  The total land and water area occupied by  the
installation  is  140,393  acres.   Of  this  area, 84,031 acres is
NASA-owned.  The remainder is owned by the State of Florida.   This
area,  with  adjoining  water  bodies, provides sufficient space to
afford adequate safety to the surrounding civilian community during
launches, landings of other hazardous operations.  Agreements  have
been  made with the Department of the Interior regarding the use of
non-operational areas as a wildlife refuge and national seashore on
a non-interference basis.
The center was originally created in the early 1960s  to  serve  as
the  launch  site for the Apollo lunar landing missions.  After the
Apollo program ended in 1972, Kennedy's Complex 39 was used for the
launch of the Skylab spacecraft and later,  the  Apollo  spacecraft
for the Apollo Soyuz Test Project.
Kennedy  Space  Center serves as the primary center within NASA for
the test, checkout and launch of payloads and space vehicles.  This
presently includes  launch  of  manned  and  unmanned  vehicles  at
Kennedy,  the  adjacent  Cape  Canaveral  Air  Force Station and at
Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The center is responsible for the assembly, checkout and launch  of
Space  Shuttle  vehicles and their payloads, landing operations and
the turn-around of Space Shuttle orbiters between missions, as well
as preparation and launch of unmanned vehicles.
Kennedy  also  is  responsible  for  the  operation  of   the   KSC
Vandenberg  Launch  Site Resident Office, located at Vandenberg Air
Force Base in Santa  Barbara  County,  on  the  California  central
The  KSC  Vandenberg  Launch  Site  Resident  Office  serves as the
interface with the U.S. Air Force to arrange for  base  support  at
Vandenberg  of  all  NASA elements and for VLS and range support of
all NASA projects supported by the Resident  Office.   It  supports
spacecraft  requirements of other NASA centers, commercial and U.S.
government agencies not affiliated with the Department  of  Defense
by providing operational and administrative support.
Forrest  S. McCartney, Lt. General USAF-Retired, is Director of the
Kennedy Space Center.


The Kennedy Space Center, and the people  who  work  there,  are  a
very  special type of resource for the United States and the world.
The NASA/industry launch teams, and the people  who  support  them,
have  skills and capabilities found only at the national spaceport.
Every American manned space flight to  date  was  launched  by  the
people  of  Kennedy.   This  NASA  Center is one of just two places
capable of launching Space Shuttle vehicles.  The second  site,  on
Vandenberg AFB in California, belongs to the U.S. Air Force, and is
not  operational  at present.  It is being maintained in case it is
needed in the future for Space Shuttle polar orbit missions.   Over
the  years  the  NASA/industry  teams  have  also launched over 300
unmanned  space   vehicles,   primarily   Deltas,   Atlas-Centaurs,
Atlas-Agenas,   and   Titan-Centaurs.    These   lifted   off  from
NASA-operated facilities on Cape Canaveral Air  Force  Station  and
Vandenberg AFB.
Every  person  who  works at the spaceport is a member of the team,
even  if  their  jobs  are  not  directly  involved   with   launch
operations.  Most of the hands-on work is performed by contractors.
When fully manned, the Center has a workforce of (in round numbers)
about 2,400 NASA civil servants and  13,000  to  14,000  contractor
personnel.   The  largest contractor organization works in the area
of Shuttle processing and launch  operations,  the  second  largest
provides  maintenance  and  support  for the Center itself, and the
third helps customers prepare their spacecraft and  other  payloads
for launch.  Several other contractors provide various operational,
support and housekeeping functions.
The  operation  of  the  launch  and  support facilities at Kennedy
demands unusual, sometimes unique, personnel skills.  But for  most
NASA  and  contractor  employees,  the same knowledge and abilities
that serve them here would work equally well in many other places.
Some of the more unusual facilities in which people  work  are  the
giant  Vehicle  Assembly  Building,  one  of  the  largest enclosed
structures in the world; the Orbiter  Processing  Facility,  filled
with  complicated  equipment  used  to prepare Shuttle orbiters for
flight; Pads 39A and 39B, from which Shuttles lift off;  Delta  and
Atlas-Centaur  launch  complexes  on  Cape Canaveral; and a host of
other processing and support facilities.  These  include  buildings
especially  designed  for  spacecraft  assembly  and  checkout, and
others for hazardous work such as installing explosive ordnance and
loading propellants.
The heart of the Kennedy  Space  Center  is  its  engineering  work
force,   both   contractor   and  NASA.   People  with  electrical,
mechanical, electronic and computer engineering  degrees  have  the
necessary  background  to  begin work here. After that, it may take
years to learn some of the more unusual jobs.
Many spaceport professionals deal with more routine  matters,  such
as  designing  and  overseeing the construction of office or supply
buildings, setting up and operating computer systems, or performing
materials and structures tests.
The engineering departments do their work along with  other  groups
who  might  be found at any industrial facility.  Several logistics
organizations order supplies and keep them available in warehouses.
Another operates a facility-wide bus system and  supplies  vehicles
for  local use.  Writing and graphics departments produce a variety
of publications.  A local  printshop  prints  them.   A  janitorial
force keeps the facilities clean.  A guard force provides security.
It is the very different nature of the major function of Kennedy --
serving  as  the nation's spaceport -- that makes it such a special
place.  Watching a  rocket  blaze  a  fiery  trail  into  the  sky,
hearing  the  thunder  of  its  passage,  is  a  fringe benefit not
available at very many workplaces.


Whether it's the bustle of spaceport activity, the  solitude  of  a
nature  trail  or  the unspoiled beauty of a pristine seashore, the
Kennedy Space Center offers the visitor a wide variety of things to
do and see.
A must stop on anyone's space itinerary  is  the  Kennedy  visitors
center,  Spaceport  USA  --  a modern, sprawling complex of exhibit
halls, theaters and supporting amenities that lure  well  over  two
million   visitors  a  year,  ranking  it  among  the  top  tourist
attractions in Florida.
Open  every  day  of  the  year  except  Christmas,  Spaceport  USA
provides  visitors  a  rare  opportunity  to experience the sights,
sounds, color and drama of America's role in space.
Indoor and outdoor exhibits and displays  feature  the  spacecraft,
the  rockets  and  the programs that have extended our reach beyond
the Earth.  Dramatic large-screen IMAX movies offer  a  spectacular
view  of space as seen by the astronauts.  Bus tours of the Kennedy
Space Center and Cape Canaveral facilities trace the  evolution  of
the  nation's  space  program from its infancy to the Space Shuttle
Educational  services  are  available  as  well.    The   Educators
Resource  Laboratory  provides extensive facilities to aid teachers
in the preparation of aerospace-related teaching materials. Slides,
videotapes and  text  materials  can  be  copied  for  use  in  the
At  the  Exploration  Station,  educational  programs  and hands-on
activities illustrate and explain the principals  of  rocketry  and
space  science  to  students of all ages.  Students often work with
actual hardware used for space missions.
Spaceport USA is located two miles south  of  Titusville,  Florida,
off  U.S.  Highway  1.   It  is  operated  under  a  concessionaire
contract, and is entirely self-supporting.   Parking  and  exhibits
are  available  free.  Modest fees and admission prices are charged
for bus tours and the IMAX movie.  Cafeterias and snack  shops  are
available,  and  gift shops offer a wide range of space memorabilia
and souvenirs.  Educational services are provided by  the  Center's
Education Office.
The  "other  side"  of  America's Spaceport is less known, perhaps,
but an equally treasured national asset.  Under agreements  between
NASA  and the Department of Interior, all but the operational areas
of the Kennedy Space Center are designated as  a  wildlife  refuge,
including  25  miles  of  undeveloped  ocean  beach  that forms the
Canaveral National Seashore.
This gentle but  untamed  land  swarms  with  wildlife.   Over  500
species  of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians are found here.
Some, like the American bald eagle, woodstork,  alligator  and  the
ponderous  manatee, or sea cow, are on the endangered or threatened
species list.
Recreational activities  abound:  fresh  water  and  surf  fishing,
waterfowl  hunting  in  season, birdwatching, swimming at the ocean
beaches, canoeing and hiking nature trails.
Most of the refuge and all of the seashore  are  open  to  visitors
during   daylight  hours,  except  when  space  operations  require
closure.  Seashore headquarters and a refuge  visitors  center  are
located several miles east of Titusville, on State Road 402.
/data/webs/external/dokuwiki/data/pages/archive/science/kennedy.txt · Last modified: 2001/11/04 06:14 by

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