Treasures of the Kennedy Space Center

Posted by David Eicher
on Monday, December 14, 2015

Space Shuttle Atlantis on display, KSC, Merritt Island, Florida
Last week, I spent two days at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on Merrit Island, Florida, for a behind-the-scenes tour. Although warm temperatures are embracing much of the United States right now, the weather was beautiful on Cocoa Beach, where I was staying, and made touring outdoor aspects of KSC a pleasure.

Kennedy Space Center is a national treasure, and my tour of the facilities included hundreds of notable features. I photographed them all diligently and will produce a detailed story for an upcoming issue of Astronomy magazine.

For now, I’ll share a few memorable images of what I found: the mammoth Vehicle Assembly Building, the largest single story building in the world; historic launch pads 39A and 39B, where so many Apollo and shuttle launches departed; space shuttle Atlantis, now on display in full and surrounded by hundreds of artifacts in a mammoth building designed to house it; and melancholy stories of the deep challenge of space, such as the left body panel from the Challenger shuttle, recovered from the Atlantic Ocean following the tragic explosion of 1986.

Countless stories of the allure of space exploration, of human dreams to explore what lies beyond Earth, are housed in this hallowed ground. I’ll share more of them over the coming days.

To view the photos, go to our Online Reader Gallery.

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