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Author Topic:   Sands Space History Center (CCAFS, Florida)
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 35668
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-14-2010 09:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
U.S. Air Force Space & Missile Museum Foundation release
Grand Opening of Air Force Space & Missile History Center

The U.S. Air Force Space & Missile Museum Foundation held a grand opening ceremony for the Air Force Space & Missile History Center near Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Friday, August 13.

Brigadier General Ed Wilson, 45th Space Wing commander, spoke at the opening of the new 3,200 square foot facility.

The history center is located at 100 Space Part Way and is free to the public and includes a variety of exhibits from the 1950s through today.

Florida Today's Flame Trench reported on Friday's opening.

The U.S. Air Force Space & Missile History Center is located in the auditorium of the old Space Florida building next to Gate 1, also known as the South Gate, at the air base.

An offshoot of the Air Force Space & Missile Museum, which is located in a secure area of the base, the new museum will be free and open to the public six days a week.

On display at the museum: An exhibit that tells the story of each launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which was established in 1949 as the nation's Joint Long Range Proving Ground.

The History Center, which includes a gift shop, is open noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

(For more about the U.S. Air Force Space & Missile Museum, see this thread.)


Posts: 100
From: Topmost, Ky. USA
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 08-15-2010 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kking   Click Here to Email kking     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is there anybody that lives nearby who can post us some good pictures of the History Center? I'd sure like to learn more about this museum. Does it have a archives too?


Posts: 89
From: Merritt Island, FL
Registered: Feb 2008

posted 08-17-2010 11:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFGAS   Click Here to Email AFGAS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I visited the U.S. Air Force Space & Missile History Center this morning. Located behind the SpaceX Control Center in an old training auditorium, it contains several artifacts formerly housed at the museum to the north.

Curator Emily Perry was pointing out items that had been outdoors and now where restored/repaired. She expressed how they should show pictures of the way they looked so folks would appreciate the effort to bring them inside.

A few nosecones are displayed, along with the Mercury boilerplate (BP) that was at the museum. When I asked about the Gemini and Apollo boilerplates she said they would not fit! Still, there were many items and some new graphics explaining the different pads located at the cape.

To get to the museum, follow the signs from SR 528 (The Beachline) to Cruise Terminal A/Cape Canaveral AFS and then turn right before the Navaho missile. Follow the signs. The crew is excited about their new place, and wanted me to encourage all to come on by. It is free, but a nice gift shop could get them some income and net you a nice souvenir.

New Member

Posts: 7
From: Tampa, Fla, USA
Registered: Jul 2010

posted 08-17-2010 03:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1961     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am anxious to make the trip over to see the new history center. I'm really glad there's something accessible to the public.

I've sent in an application to volunteer in the gift shop (either at the original museum or history center), but I haven't heard anything back yet.


Posts: 2029
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 08-25-2010 12:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We did make it to the new Air Force Museum right next door to the SpaceX launch control center. It is a great little museum with a lot of contractor models. It is really done well.


Posts: 3131
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 10-31-2010 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I dropped by this place today — tucked away by the base gate, but worth seeking out. A very nice, family-friendly exhibition area, and wonderful to have a new space-themed attraction in the area.

I'd encourage those coming out to the area to swing by if time permits.

New Member

Posts: 6
From: Merritt Island, FL
Registered: Dec 2010

posted 12-25-2010 07:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The History Center has a display for every launch complex at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Many of them have monitors running videos of archival footage. Some of the displays have artifacts.

The History Center is located in a complex originally built as a graduate engineering school in the 1960s. The Florida Solar Energy Center took it over in the 1970s. Today the three buildings are occupied by Space Florida, the History Center and the SpaceX Launch Control Center.

The History Center has a modest gift shop. Some items are unique, you won't find them at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Our prices are typically lower than The Space Shop.

With all the commercial launches planned for the next decade (human and cargo), most of the action will return from KSC to CCAFS, so I think we'll see an uptick in traffic to the history center.


Posts: 199
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 07-14-2013 01:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mercsim   Click Here to Email mercsim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was in Florida last week for my annual family vacation. I made it a point to go by the History Center. The volunteers are always super friendly. I spent about two hours there and really enjoyed this unique perspective on our space history. I also spent lots of money in the gift shop.

I thought the experience was a must see for anyone visiting the Cape area. Their attendance is down so if you are in the area, drop by and say "Hi" to the nice volunteers that make this exhibit possible.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 35668
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-19-2016 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
45th Space Wing release
Center renamed to honor General Sands

The Air Force Space & Missile History Center near the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station South Gate was renamed the Sands Space History Center during an official ceremony today in the history center's main hall.

The 45th Space Wing and the Air Force Space & Missile Museum Foundation hosted the ceremony in honor of retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Harry James Sands Jr, whose work and perseverance laid the groundwork for the history center.

"General Sands didn't just verbally champion this cause throughout his career, but he embodied it," said Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th Space Wing commander. "His passion for preserving and sharing our history with the public was unmatched by any other."

Sands started his distinguished military career in 1939 as a command pilot before transitioning in 1945 to help start the missile development program. His association with Patrick AFB began in 1953 when he was appointed Headquarters Air Force Missile Test Center's deputy for operations.

In 1961, he proposed the idea of creating a museum dedicated to the Air Force's space history at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. After being appointed the museum's foundation chairman in 1963, Sands assembled a team from the range community affairs office. But lack of funding, coupled with donations of poorly-conditioned large artifacts, forced him to scale back his plans.

Sands, dedicated to preserving these priceless artifacts, persevered. He understood the importance of outside funding and was able to secure $4 million in fundraising in just nine months to build a center outside of the entrance to Cape Canaveral AFS. This was on top of actively volunteering to give briefings and tours to hundreds of visitors.

Although Sands passed away in 1993, his passion and determination created a legacy that continued to garnish support for the museum, Monteith said.

"General Sands had a strong vision of what this place could be and his vision continues to grow through the minds and actions of each member supporting this history center today," he said.

In 2010, Sands' hard work became a reality when the center opened on August 13 at its present location outside the main gate. On Aug. 19, 2015, approval was granted to rename the center to the Sands Space History Center.

Sands' two sons, Pat and Ray, were guest speakers at the ceremony and shared their father's legacy that encompassed more than his storied dedication to developing and preserving everything the Eastern Range and history center has become today. Pat recounted how his father was "truly, truly, one of a kind," while Ray said the general was "one of those leaders that the entire base lined the streets for to say goodbye."

Monteith and Sands' sons also thanked the history center staff for their remarkable efforts and unwavering commitment to ensuring the ceremony occurred on what would have been Sands' 101st birthday.

"This team is so good even a hurricane couldn't stop it," said Monteith.

The renaming of the museum comes only one week after Hurricane Matthew produced peak winds of 139 mph winds at Cape Canaveral AFS. Hurricane Matthew damaged several facilities and displays, including the Navaho static display at the entrance to the center's parking lot.

The history center won the Air Force Space Command Heritage Award in 2010 for outstanding commitment to building a better understanding and appreciation for the Air Force. In the past four years, the center had over 33,000 visitors.

All times are CT (US)

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