The Refuge & NASA

About the Refuge Kennedy Space Center

In 1963, the federal government acquired 140,000+ acres north and west of the Cape on Merritt Island where a major support facility for the launch complex – the John F. Kennedy Space Center – would be developed. Kennedy was right – on July 20, 1969, man stepped on the face of the moon. The first Space Shuttle mission, STS-1 (Space Transportation System) was launched April 12, 1981. The Columbia orbited the Earth 36 times in the 54.5 hour mission. This was the first U.S. manned space flight since the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in July 1975.