Monday, March 18, 2013

Air Force Space and Missile Museum in Cape Canaveral

Although it may cost an individual several million dollars for a journey into space, a journey into space history is free at the Air Force Space Missile History Center in Cape Canaveral.

This new 3,200 square foot history center is located just outside the Cape's South Gate at 100 Space Port Way and is free to the public. Visitors will find a variety of eye catching and mind boggling history exhibits arranged in order of the launch complex where space history was made.

The history center delivers the information in an entertaining way on every launch complex on Cape Canaveral. Artifacts, displays and presentations includes but not limited to launch consoles, control panels, nosecones, rocket engines, and even a Mercrury capsule prototype.

Each exhibit tells the visitor fun facts based around the history of that launch pad while at the same time helping the visitor understand the inter-related purposes the missions had with one another.

For example at LC 43, one learns of rockets called, "Cajun Dar, Nike Smoke, Nike Javelon." (One would be forgiven thinking these were athlete shoes.) Mission programs from this Launch Complex supported Aeronomy, the study of upper atmosphere meteorological studies. These weather rockets were launched before major manned rockets to test atmospheric and weather condition prior to the main launch. Another fun fact learned here is immortalized in historic photos of Barbara Eden of I Dream Of Jeannie fame who pressed a button that launched a LOKI/Dart rocket in June of 1969 from here. This rocket was used to measure atmospheric conditions prior to the Apollo 11 launch.

But this history center is more that just displaying facts in a fun way, it is about honoring all the space workers who made the dreams of space flight possible. Brig General ED. Wilson of the 45th Space Fighter Wing summed it up well when he said, "This center is a testament to all those who have come before us, to the hard work and the dedication they expressed, and the sacrifices those individuals made."

Well worth the visit just a few miles North East of 528 Beeline on state road
401. Picnic benches outside the building so considering bringing a packed lunch.
Estimated time to visit all the exhibits is an hour. Gift store inside gives the visitor the opportunity to purchase some mementos of their visit.

Hours: Closed Monday.
Open Tuesday to Friday 9 am to 2 pm
Saturdays 9 am to 5pm
Sunday Noon to 4 pm
Admittance: Free

GPS: N 28° 25.023 W 080° 36.275