Modern Wonders of the World
Architectural Wonders of
Wall of China
House of Pharos in Alexandria
of Angkor Wat
Warriors of Xian
Kennedy Space Center is probably best known as the launch site of
the Apollo space programme, which sent people to the Moon in the 1960s
1970s. Today, the Center is both a working site and a tourist
Visitors can see an exhibition of space rockets and visit the assembly
and the space shuttle launch pads on Cape Canaveral. The cape, on the
coast of Florida, was the starting point for many of the most exciting
scientific explorations made this century.
The site was originally a US
Air Force base and missile test centre. It was used to launch the first
satellite in 1958. Then on 5th May 1961 Alan Shepard blasted
a Mercury spacecraft, to become the first American in space. Three
President Kennedy announced the Apollo programme, to build a spacecraft
could land men on the Moon by 1970. After the President's death in
site was renamed the John F. Kennedy Space Center.
The Apollo spacecraft that
travelled to the Moon were launched by powerful Saturn rockets. The
were put together in a huge, 160 meter high building that could hold
Saturn rockets at a time. The spacecraft and rockets then had to be
5 kilometers to the launch pad. The whole assembly weighed over 5000
was carried on a massive vehicle called a crawler-transporter. The
40 meters long, 35 meters wide and moves at a top speed of 1.6
FIRST MAN ON
The first Apollo mission was
due to be launched in 1967, but disaster struck at the Space Center.
routine countdown test, fire suddenly swept through the space capsule
tip of the rocket and the three astronauts on board were killed. The
programme was changed to allow, more unmanned test flights. Then on 16th
July 1969 a giant Saturn rocket blasted off from launch pad 39, sending
11 astronauts on their journey into space. Four days later, Neil
the first human being to set foot on the surface of the Moon.
During the 1970s, the huge
expense of the Apollo Moon programme led to the development of a new
space vehicle - the space shuttle. The shuttle looked more like an
than a moon rocket and, unlike a rocket; it could be used time and time
A fixed launch tower was placed at launch pad 39, ready for the first
flight in 1981. A runway, 4572 meters long, was also built, so that
could land back at the Space Center after each mission.
By 1986 NASA had launched 24 successful shuttle
missions. But then Shuttle Challenger exploded after take-off and all
astronauts were killed. Over two years passed before the next shuttle
off in September 1988. Since then a large number of scientific and
missions have been launched from Kennedy Space Center in pursuit of the
of living and working in space.