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Presidential visits to Cape Canaveral


Since being founded as the nation's civilian spaceport and missile testing ground, NASA Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station have hosted visits from seven sitting U.S. presidents and five vice presidents.

To date, only two sitting presidents have witnessed crewed launches from the Cape.


Dwight D. Eisenhower, President

2/10/60

 

Visited Cape Canaveral




Dr. Wernher von Braun explains the Saturn launch system to John F. Kennedy at Cape Canaveral, Nov. 16, 1963. (NASA)

John F. Kennedy, President

2/23/62

 

Project Mercury ceremony - presented astronaut John Glenn and Robert Gilruth, director of the Manned Spacecraft Center, with NASA Distinguished Service Medals

9/11/62

 

Toured launch complexes for Mercury-Atlas, Titan and Saturn C-1 rockets

11/16/63

 

Visited Cape Canaveral. Watched launch of a Polaris missile from submarine.

President was in helicopter flying over the MILA tracking station (under construction)



Lyndon B. Johnson, President

9/15/64

 

Impromptu visit to KSC, inspected SA-7 booster being prepared for launch and space probes. Briefed by astronaut Wally Schirra on Gemini spacecraft

9/27/66

 

With West German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard for tour; delivered a speech in the Vehicle Assembly Building




Vice President Spiro Agnew and former President Lyndon Johnson view the Apollo 11 launch at Kennedy Space Center, 1969. (NASA)

Lyndon B. Johnson, Vice President


 

10/3/61

 

tour of space installations

 

2/23/62

 

Project Mercury ceremony

 

9/11/62

 

tour of LOC with President Kennedy



Lyndon B. Johnson, civilian


 

7/15-16/69

 

Viewed Apollo 11 launch




Hubert H. Humphrey, Vice President

2/22/65

 

Tour of KSC and Air Force facilities and briefings of various space programs



Richard M. Nixon, President

11/14/69

  Viewed Apollo 12 launch

— first sitting President to view NASA launch




President Nixon watches Apollo 12 pre-launch activities from the Kennedy Space Center's viewing area on Nov. 14, 1969. (NASA)

Spiro T. Agnew, Vice President


 

3/3/69

 

Viewed Apollo 9 launch

 

7/16/69

 

Viewed Apollo 11 launch

 

4/11/70

 

Viewed Apollo 13 launch

 

1/31/71

 

Viewed Apollo 14 launch




Jimmy Carter, President

10/1/78

 

Celebration for NASA's 20th Anniversary - awards to astronauts in Vehicle Assembly Building

 

Jimmy Carter, civilian

1/3/02

 

Toured KSC accompanied by wife, Rosalyn




George H.W. Bush, Vice President

3/17/81

 

Tour of space shuttle operations and met with STS-1 crew

2/5/82

 

Spacelab dedication in O&C Building

9/5/83

 

KSC's Labor Day picnic - held at press site

1/28/86

 

Loss of space shuttle Challenger and the STS-51L crew - visit with astronaut families and NASA officials




Dan Quayle, Vice President

2/20/91

 

Tour of LCC, LC-39A and visit with STS-39 crew — watched countdown test

5/9/91

 

Spaceport USA to dedicate Space Mirror

9/12/92

 

Viewed STS-47 launch




President and Mrs. Clinton watch the launch of the space shuttle Discovery from the roof of the Launch Control Center. (NASA)

Bill Clinton, President

10/29/98

  Viewed STS-95 launch

(John Glenn on board)



Dick Cheney, Vice President

7/1/06

 

Viewed STS-121 launch attempt



Barack Obama, President

4/15/10

 

Delivered speech on space vision in O&C. Toured Complex 40 SpaceX launch pad

4/29/11

 

Toured with the First Family space shuttle Atlantis in Orbiter Processing Facility-1 and visited with Endeavour's STS-134 crew


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