2012 Brings 50 Year Celebrations
This year, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will be celebrating two milestones in space history with the 50thanniversaries of NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center and Americans in Orbit.
On February 20, 1962, launching aboard a Mercury-Atlas rocket in the Freedom 7 capsule, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. Glenn circled the Earth three times, followed by a successful splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean. While Alan Shepard had already become the first American into space by 1961, Glenn became the first American into orbit.
Three months later on May 24, 1962, aboard a Mercury-Atlas rocket in the Aurora 7 capsule, Scott Carpenter successfully replicated John Glenn's flight. Carpenter was able to orbit Earth three times and land in the Atlantic Ocean just as Glenn did. Carpenter's flight confirmed the capabilities of the spacecraft and encouraged possibilities of future space exploration.
Two months following on July 1, 1962, the space center was officially acknolwedged as an operating spaceflight center under the name Launch Operations Center. The name was later changed to John F. Kennedy Space Center in honor of the president and his vision of Americans visiting the moon.
For fifty years, John F. Kennedy Space Center has been the gateway to space. From carrying astronauts into space aboard rockets and space shuttles, launching space exploration devices and constructing the International Space Station, to building the vision and the future, the journey to space begins and ends with Kennedy Space Center.
Click here to view the information regarding the "Celebrating 50 Years of Americans in Orbit" event.
Please continue to check back for details on the upcoming events surrounding these milestones.