Sunday, July 25, 2010

60 Years Plus One Day at the Cape

"60 Years of Rocket Launches: The Rise of America's Florida Spaceport" (July 23, 2010)

"Sixty years ago Saturday morning, a rocket stood ready to launch from the east coast of Florida, destined to make history – not so much for where it was going, but for where it was departing.

"Bumper 8, a two-stage vehicle built from a U.S.-modified, World War II-captured German V-2 missile and a sounding rocket upper-stage, became the first to liftoff from what is now known as Cape Canaveral.

"A ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of Bumper 8's historic flight will take place today at the Florida launching pad...."

Back on July 24, 1950, what was at Cape Canaveral was a test facility for rockets.

Today, there are still test launches conducted near the Cape, but much of the complex is not, quite, on Cape Canaveral: and it's more of a spaceport. The end of the shuttle program will change the sort of the activity there, a little, but it's by no means the end of the Cape's usefulness.

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