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Author Topic:   U.S. Air Force Space & Missile History Center
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27328
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 and took some pictures which I posted to this gallery. 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 BPs 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.


Posts: 3023
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-17-2010 12:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A bit underwhelming - given the intertwined relationship between the DOD (missile) and civil space programs it seems the USAF would be better served by combining its efforts with the Kennedy Space Center museums (much as the U.S. Space & Rocket Center serves as a joint visitor center for NASA and Redstone Arsenal).

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 museum. 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 the new one), but I haven't heard anything back yet.


Posts: 1394
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: 3093
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 for the launch, ASF event, etc., 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
I volunteer as a docent for the Air Force Space & Missile Museum, which also runs the History Center.

In response to various questions upstream...

The Museum is different from the History Center. The Museum is the old Launch Complex 26 blockhouse on base. Access is restricted, and docents are present only for the bus tours, so the History Center was opened just outside the south gate to provide the public with another option.

The History Center has a display for every launch complex at CCAFS. 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.

When SpaceX recently launched the Falcon 9 with the Dragon spacecraft, we saw them outside afterwards celebrating with champagne. It was a unique opportunity to go up and congratulate them on making history.

The Museum has archives, but they're stored in a hangar in the Industrial Area. The Museum recently lost its archivist, so if you're looking for something specific you'd have to submit a request to the Museum director and someone would have to go over to research it.

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

Someone wrote about why NASA and the USAF don't "combine their efforts." A long history behind that. According to a 1998 article in Florida Historical Quarterly, when the USAF was first planning the Museum in the early 1960s, NASA was also planning its own museum. NASA declined to offer the USAF any of its artifacts. Keep in mind there was a big rivalry between the two agencies. One was military, the other civilian, and in the 1960s they were competing for limited government funding.

That division continues to this day. KSCVC is profit-driven, operated under a contract with Delaware North. The Space & Missile Museum is operated by the USAF. It has one full-time paid employee. The rest of us are volunteer docents. The Museum has to rely on the Pentagon budget to operate, but also has a separate non-profit Foundation to raise donations. The military can't operate a for-profit entity. KSCVC charges admission. The USAF doesn't.

Obviously there's some cooperation. For years, a bus has run out of KSCVC to tour CCAFS. But quite frankly, there's a lot more demand for tours of KSC than CCAFS. Today, KSCVC runs one tour a day to CCAFS, and it costs an extra $21. The Museum opens its doors for the KSCVC bus and we docents volunteer to lead them through a tour of our location.

But the bottom line is that the two sides have gone their own ways for decades, and I don't think that's likely to change any time soon.

Ironically, 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 our traffic.

I should also note that the Museum is technically part of the Air Force Museum System based in Dayton. They have the authority to take our artifacts (which they have). So any negotiations about NASA artifacts would probably go through Dayton, I believe.

We are a bit off the beaten path and don't get a lot of publicity, so please spread the word. Our web site is

New Member


posted 12-25-2010 11:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Byeman   Click Here to Email Byeman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe the Atlas engine is mislabled. It doesn't have the proper turbopump exhaust duct configuration for an Atlas engine.

New Member

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

posted 12-25-2010 03:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is this a display in the History Center?

The artifacts were identified and put on display before my time, but I believe much of the research was done by the volunteers. I know others have come in and noted artifacts that were misidentified. If you can give me a little more info, I can pass it along. Thanks.


Posts: 138
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. The new Atlantis exhibit is awesome! 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. Otherwise, it may be gone before you know it...

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