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Travel Guide 2   >   USA   >   Places of Interest   >   Kennedy Space Center

   
 

Kennedy Space Center


Kennedy Space Center
Located just to the North of the city of Cape Canaveral, Florida, the Kennedy Space Center is the NASA launch facility (spaceport), and has been used for the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle programs.

The Kennedy Space Center features a Visitor Complex, which is home to museums, two IMAX theaters, bus tours allowing visitors to see restricted areas, and a bus tour to an observation gantry in Launch complex 39. Visitors can relive parts of the Apollo program, see a restored Saturn V launch vehicle, visit the Astronaut Memorial (honoring the astronauts who died in the line of duty), see used space craft including a Gemini capsule and Apollo command module, and visit the Explorer - a replica space shuttle.

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Books about Kennedy Space Center


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Kennedy Space Center: Gateway to Space

By David West-Reynolds

Brand: Firefly Books
Paperback (248 pages)

Kennedy Space Center: Gateway to Space
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Praise for the hardcover edition:

"Extremely practical and enjoyable."
-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[Will be] devoured by history or space enthusiasts from eight to eighty."
-- VOYA

"The foreword grabbed me, and by the prologue I was hooked."
-- The Science Teacher

NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center set the stage for the American adventure into space and went on to host a succession of rocket launches that have helped to form our understanding of the nature of the universe.

The Kennedy Space Center is a major tourist attraction in Florida, but most of its doors remain locked to the public. This abundantly illustrated book is an insider's history of the heart of America's space program, including detailed information on:

  • The earliest development of rockets in the United States and Germany
  • The development of rockets and their launch facilities
  • The missile race and the U.S.-Soviet rivalry to be first in space
  • The great Apollo program and the race to the moon
  • The shuttle program, the Space Station and the Hubble Telescope
  • The future of space exploration

Kennedy Space Center is clearly written, meticulously researched and packed with more than 150 spectacular images -- the one and only complete history of this important site.

A History of the Kennedy Space Center

By Kenneth Lipartito

University Press of Florida
Hardcover (496 pages)

A History of the Kennedy Space Center
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This first comprehensive history of the Kennedy Space Center, NASA's famous launch facility located at Cape Canaveral, Florida, reveals the vital but largely unknown work that takes place before the rocket is lit. Though the famous Vehicle Assembly Building and launch pads dominate the flat Florida landscape at Cape Canaveral and attract 1.5 million people each year to its visitor complex, few members of the public are privy to what goes on there beyond the final outcome of the flaring rocket as it lifts into space. With unprecedented access to a wide variety of sources, including the KSC archives, other NASA centers, the National Archives, and individual and group interviews and collections, Lipartito and Butler explore how the methods and technology for preparing, testing, and launching spacecraft have evolved over the last 45 years. Their story includes the Mercury and Gemini missions, the Apollo lunar program, the Space Shuttle, scientific missions and robotic spacecraft, and the International Space Station, as well as the tragic accidents of Challenger and Columbia. Throughout, the authors reveal the unique culture of the people who work at KSC and make Kennedy distinct from other parts of NASA.
 As Lipartito and Butler show, big NASA projects, notably the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station, had much to learn on the ground before they made it to space. Long before a spacecraft started its ascent, crucial work had been done, work that combined the muscular and mundane with the high tech and applied the vital skills and knowledge of the men and women of KSC to the design of vehicles and missions. The authors challenge notions that successful innovation was simply the result of good design alone and argue that, with large technical systems, real world experience actually made the difference between bold projects that failed and innovations that stayed within budget and produced consistent results. The authors pay particular attention to "operational knowledge" developed by KSC--the insights that came from using and operating complex technology. This work makes it abundantly clear that the processes performed by ground operations are absolutely vital to success.
 

Rocket Ranch: The Nuts and Bolts of the Apollo Moon Program at Kennedy Space Center (Springer Praxis Books)

By Jonathan H. H. Ward

Springer
Released: 2015-06-26
Paperback (356 pages)

Rocket Ranch: The Nuts and Bolts of the Apollo Moon Program at Kennedy Space Center (Springer Praxis Books)
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Jonathan Ward takes the reader deep into the facilities at Kennedy Space Center to describe NASA’s first computer systems used for spacecraft and rocket checkout and explain how tests and launches proceeded. Descriptions of early operations include a harrowing account of the heroic efforts of pad workers during the Apollo 1 fire. A companion to the author’s book Countdown to a Moon Launch: Preparing Apollo for Its Historic Journey, this explores every facet of the facilities that served as the base for the Apollo/Saturn missions. Hundreds of illustrations complement the firsthand accounts of more than 70 Apollo program managers and engineers.

The era of the Apollo/Saturn missions was perhaps the most exciting period in American space exploration history. Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center were buzzing with activity. Thousands of workers came to town to build the facilities and launch the missions needed to put an American on the Moon before the end of the decade.

Work at KSC involved much more than just launching rockets. It was a place like none other on Earth. Technicians performed intricate operations, and hazards abounded everywhere, including lightning, fire, highly-toxic fuels, snakes, heat, explosives, LOX spills, and even plutonium. The reward for months of 7-day workweeks under intense pressure was witnessing a Saturn V at liftoff.

For anyone who ever wished they had worked at Kennedy Space Center during the Apollo era, this book is the next best thing. The only thing missing is the smell of rocket fuel in the morning.

Exploring Kennedy Space Center (Travel America's Landmarks)

By Emma Huddleston

North Star Editions
Paperback (32 pages)

Exploring Kennedy Space Center (Travel America s Landmarks)
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Gives readers a close-up look at the history and importance of Kennedy Space Center. With colorful spreads featuring fun facts, sidebars, a labeled map, and a Thats Amazing! special feature, this book provides an engaging overview of this amazing landmark.

Picturing Apollo 11: Rare Views and Undiscovered Moments

By J. L. Pickering

University Press of Florida
Released: 2019-03-12
Hardcover (272 pages)

Picturing Apollo 11: Rare Views and Undiscovered Moments
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Picturing Apollo 11 is an unprecedented photographic history of the space mission that defined an era. Through a wealth of unpublicized and recently discovered images, this book presents new and rarely-seen views of the people, places, and events involved in the pioneering first moon landing of July 20, 1969.

No other book has showcased as many never-before-seen photos connected with Apollo 11, or as many photos covering the activities from months before to years after the mission. Starting with the extensive preparations, these images show astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin training for the flight, as well as the stages of the massive Saturn V rocket arriving at the Kennedy Space Center for assembly. They capture the media frenzy over the unfolding story and the "moon fever" that gripped the nation.

Also featured here are shots of incredible moments from the mission. In these images, spectators flock to Cape Canaveral to watch the mighty Saturn V launch in a cloud of fire and thunder. Armstrong and Aldrin step out of the lunar module Eagle onto the surface of the moon. The command module Columbia splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, and the extraordinary voyage is celebrated around the world, and in the following decades.

Most of the photographs were selected from NASA archives and the collection of J. L. Pickering, which is the world's largest private collection of U.S. human space flight images. The accompanying text by veteran space correspondent John Bisney details the scenes, revealing the astonishing scale and scope of activities that went into planning and executing the first moon landing. This book commemorates the historic mission and evokes the electric atmosphere of the time.

Foreword by Rick Armstrong 

Kennedy Space Center Official Souvenir Book

Published at Kennedy Space Center
Paperback (46 pages)

Kennedy Space Center Official Souvenir Book
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Kennedy Space Center Official Souvenir Book NASA Printed 2012 at KSC

Bringing Columbia Home: The Untold Story of a Lost Space Shuttle and Her Crew

By Michael Leinbach

Arcade
Released: 2018-01-23
Hardcover (400 pages)

Bringing Columbia Home: The Untold Story of a Lost Space Shuttle and Her Crew
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Voted the Best Space Book of 2018 by the Space Hipsters, the dramatic inside story of the epic search and recovery operation after the Columbia space shuttle disaster.

On February 1, 2003, Columbia disintegrated on reentry before the nation’s eyes, and all seven astronauts aboard were lost. Author Mike Leinbach, Launch Director of the space shuttle program at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center was a key leader in the search and recovery effort as NASA, FEMA, the FBI, the US Forest Service, and dozens more federal, state, and local agencies combed an area of rural east Texas the size of Rhode Island for every piece of the shuttle and her crew they could find. Assisted by hundreds of volunteers, it would become the largest ground search operation in US history. This comprehensive account is told in four parts:
  • Parallel Confusion
  • Courage, Compassion, and Commitment
  • Picking Up the Pieces
  • A Bittersweet Victory

For the first time, here is the definitive inside story of the Columbia disaster and recovery and the inspiring message it ultimately holds. In the aftermath of tragedy, people and communities came together to help bring home the remains of the crew and nearly 40 percent of shuttle, an effort that was instrumental in piecing together what happened so the shuttle program could return to flight and complete the International Space Station. Bringing ColumbiaHome shares the deeply personal stories that emerged as NASA employees looked for lost colleagues and searchers overcame immense physical, logistical, and emotional challenges and worked together to accomplish the impossible.

Featuring a foreword and epilogue by astronauts Robert Crippen and Eileen Collins, and dedicated to the astronauts and recovery search persons who lost their lives, this is an incredible, compelling narrative about the best of humanity in the darkest of times and about how a failure at the pinnacle of human achievement became a story of cooperation and hope.

Gateway to the Moon: Building the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex

By Charles D. Benson

University Press of Florida
Released: 2019-07-10
Kindle Edition (352 pages)
 
Product Description:
Available as an epub for the first time

Gateway to the Moon presents the definitive history of the origins, design, and construction of the lunar launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center, the terrestrial site of one of the greatest achievements of humankind: the first trip to the moon. It includes archival illustrations and diagrams of locations, personnel, and equipment, from aerial views of sandy, undeveloped Cape Canaveral to some of the first photos of the mobile launchers and crawler-transporters.

Filled with the sense of wonder and pride that the earliest U.S. space achievements inspired, the book focuses on some of the most impressive buildings ever constructed, including launch complexes 39A and 39B, the gigantic assemblies from which the Apollo-Saturn vehicles departed for trips into space; the massive eight-acre Vertical Assembly Building (renamed the Vehicle Assembly Building); and the attached Launch Control Center. It also analyzes the technological and governmental interactions necessary to ensure success of the launches.

Originally part of Moonport, one of the volumes of the NASA History Series, this volume is based on extensive interviews with participants in the space program and wide access to official documents, letters, and memoranda. The authors air criticisms directed at the Kennedy Space Center team and address mistakes in launch operations and conflicts within the program. Gateway to the Moon offers a faithful account of technology in service to humanity.


 
 
 

 
 
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