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Author Topic:   Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Tour
SpaceKSC
New Member

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

posted 12-24-2010 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With regards to touring the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), in addition to the bus tour offered by the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (KSCVC) there is another option that few people know about.

CCAFS is technically part of Patrick Air Force Base. The Patrick Public Affairs Office runs a free bus tour on the second Wednesday of every month. The tour starts at 8:45 a.m. outside the CCAFS south gate and runs about three hours.

You need to call the public affairs office in advance to make reservations. The number is (321) 494-5945. They're not good about answering the phone or returning messages, but if you leave your name with the size of your party you should be on the list. Typically they handle about 25 people on a tour.

This tour goes to a lot more places than the "Then and Now" tour. It's the only way the public can go into the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. You're allowed to get out and walk around Launch Complex 34. Depending on time, they'll let you out at LC-14, where the blockhouse has been restored.

There's also some talk about expanding the number of tours, but nothing is official yet.

The Air Force Space & Missile Museum, where Explorer 1 launched, recently opened a new facility called the History Center. It's outside the south gate, in the Space Florida office complex. The SpaceX Launch Control Center is across the commons. The History Center has displays for every launch complex at CCAFS. For those who can't get on base, it's an opportunity to sample some of the history.

Rick Mulheirn
Member

Posts: 2458
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 06-03-2013 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Tour will be suspended indefinitely after the June 27 tours. July and August tours have been cancelled.

No explanation as to why as yet.

cycleroadie
Member

Posts: 241
From: Apalachin, NY USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 06-03-2013 07:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cycleroadie   Click Here to Email cycleroadie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My guess is the sequester.

GACspaceguy
Member

Posts: 1394
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 06-03-2013 08:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It could be due to military launches.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket designated AV-040, will launch the second Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite for the U.S. Navy in July.

In August, a Delta 4 rocket will launch the fifth Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft. This geostationary communications spacecraft will serve U.S. military forces.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-03-2013 08:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Public tours of Vandenberg Air Force Base have also been suspended, which may hint at the answer:
In this time of budgetary uncertainty, the 30th Space Wing is suspending the base tour program until further notice.

kr4mula
Member

Posts: 599
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 06-04-2013 12:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I can't speak for the entire DoD, the Air Force is essentially eliminating all non-core/mission critical functions as a way to save money under the sequester. Tours are among those.

For example, the National Museum of the USAF here at Wright-Patterson AFB cut all the tours to the Restoration Hangar and the Presidential/R&D Hangars. They've even closed the latter entirely to save thousands of dollars on utility bills. The public could only access those hangars by way of a government bus, so that's more moeny to be saved.

Likewise, the Air Force has pulled entirely out of air shows, even with static displays, in order to cut costs. So not a great summer to appreciate air power.

SpaceKSCBlog
Member

Posts: 112
From: Merritt Island, FL
Registered: Nov 2011

posted 06-08-2013 07:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, the CCAFS tours are being suspended due to sequester. I heard a few weeks back it might happen.

Space Possum
Member

Posts: 32
From: USA
Registered: Feb 2008

posted 06-09-2013 08:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Space Possum     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is ridiculous! The Canaveral AFB tours are run by a private company and the docents at the Redstone/Jupiter Blockhouse and Museum are unpaid volunteers, they said so when I went on the tour last year.

This is nothing more the administration punishing the public for not supporting their budget.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-09-2013 09:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And who do you think pays that private company?

This, like the suspension of other public tours at other military installations, is how the Department of Defense has chosen to implement the sequester mandated cuts across its organization (among other cancellations).

Space Possum
Member

Posts: 32
From: USA
Registered: Feb 2008

posted 06-10-2013 07:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Space Possum     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I assumed the company was paid from admissions and the extra fee required for the tours, I did not know the government paid them. I figured a company like that would have to pay a license fee to the government to run the tour. Still, I find it outrageous that these tours are being stopped.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-10-2013 08:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Space Possum:
I assumed the company was paid from admissions and the extra fee required for the tours...
You may be confusing tours: the Patrick Air Force Base-organized tours were free to the public, no fee collected or required.

If you paid a fee, then you may be referring to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's "Then and Now" tour, which has not been cancelled.

SpaceKSCBlog
Member

Posts: 112
From: Merritt Island, FL
Registered: Nov 2011

posted 06-10-2013 08:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As Robert said ... Only the free tours offered by CCAFS public affairs have been suspended. Why? Because they don't pay for themselves. It's a freebie and an easy target.

The Cape Canaveral Then and Now tour offered at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex continues. It's offered once a day at 12:50 PM. It costs $25 on top of admission.

Space Possum
Member

Posts: 32
From: USA
Registered: Feb 2008

posted 06-10-2013 10:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Space Possum     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the clarification. I guess I got lucky because my tour stopped at the Lighthouse and LC-34. I guess it depends on who the tour guide is. It is WELL worth the extra money!

SpaceKSCBlog
Member

Posts: 112
From: Merritt Island, FL
Registered: Nov 2011

posted 06-11-2013 09:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The tour routes are determined by CCAFS. Each is slightly different due to departure points.

The KSCVC tour has been trimmed in recent years by the CCAFS management folks, who no longer allow them to go to certain places once on the tour. All sorts of speculation why.

Even so, it's still a three-hour tour; if you've watched Gilligan's Island, you know what happens on three-hour tours.

All times are CT (US)

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