Kennedy Space Center: Celebrating 50 years 1962 to 2012by John A. Greene
The nerve center of
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An entire chapter of U.S. history has been written at the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC). As the departure site for our first journey to the Moon, and hundreds of scientific, commercial, and applications spacecraft, and then as the base for Space Shuttle launch and landing operations, KSC plays a pivotal role in the nation's space program.
The nerve center of KSC is Launch Complex 39. This is the location of the Vehicle Assembly Building, where Saturn V vehicles were once prepared for launch and later the assembly site for the Space Shuttle.
Some 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers) to the east of the assembly building are the two launch pads where journeys into space begin. Five miles (eight kilometers) south is the KSC Industrial Area, where many of the Center's support facilities are located. First Apollo and then Shuttle crews prepare tere for the next mission. Here also are the administrative headquarters for KSC operations, the offices of the Center director and other NASA and contractor managers.
As the role of the spaceport changed with the demands of the national space program, the organization of KSC altered to meet those needs. In keeping with NASA's philosophy of using private industry and the nation's universities wherever possible, the majority of KSC employees work for aerospace contractors. In addition to the work tasks required to assemble, process and launch the Space Shuttle, its payloads and crews, a variety of support functions are necessary to keep this large installation operating. These include day-to-day supply, transportation, grounds maintenance, documentation, drafting, and design engineering.
The technology, equipment and concepts developed during the early days of space exploration were the building blocks for an operational spaceport. We have broken the bonds of Earth and traveled into space and back on many occasions. Mercury, Gemini, Apollo ... America's space travelers have given new meaning to these names from Greek and Roman mythology. In this era of the Space Shuttle, the journey into space continues. These pages tell of the people and the programs responsible for creating a gateway to the solar system, and beyond.
This book describes the story and history of the Kennedy Space Center from initial developments, through the Apollo lunar landing program and into the Space Shuttle age.
Chapter 1 - Origins
Chapter 2 - Expendable Launch Vehicle Operations
Chapter 3 - Mercury and Gemini
Chapter 4 - Genesis of Apollo
Chapter 5 - Constructing the Spaceport
Chapter 6 - Disaster at Complex 34
Chapter 7 - Steps Toward Lunar Landing
Chapter 8 - Man on the Moon
Chapter 9 - Apollo Continues
Chapter 10 - Skylab
Chapter 11 - Apollo-Soyuz
Chapter 12 - Space Shuttle
Chapter 13 - Flight Testing The Space Shuttle
Chapter 14 - The Working Space Shuttle
Chapter 15 - Challenger: Setback and Recovery
Chapter 16 - Contractors at KSC
Chapter 17 - Technology Twice Used
Chapter 18 - Community, Public and Press
Chapter 19 - Facing the Future
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