KSC Celebrates 50th, Looks to Future
The Kennedy Space Center celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend. The center is changing as private companies move to take over manned missions to the space station and NASA focuses on deep space goals.
Since the earliest days of American spaceflight the facility located on Meritt Island has played a crucial role.
Originally called Launch Operations Center, the facility was named Kennedy Space Center after the death of President John F. Kennedy who kicked off the race to get US astronauts to the moon.
The center was hit hard by layoffs after the end of the Apollo program in the early 1970s, and when the Space shuttle program stopped last year.
Now commercial companies are beginning to use some of the launch facilities as they develop their own spacecraft to get to the International Space Station.
NASA is focused on returng to manned deep space exploration- on Monday the space agency's next generation Orion capsule slated for NASA's next round of future missions will be unveiled to the media.