Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Skid Strip

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Cape Canaveral AFS Skid Strip
Airport type Military
Operator United States Air Force
Serves Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Location Cape Canaveral
Elevation AMSL 10 ft / 3 m
Coordinates 28°28′04″N 080°34′01″W / 28.46778°N 80.56694°W / 28.46778; -80.56694
Direction Length Surface
ft m
13/31 10,000 3,048 Asphalt

Cape Canaveral AFS Skid Strip (ICAO: KXMR) is a military airport at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), 7 miles (11 km) northeast of Cocoa Beach, Florida. It has an asphalt-paved runway designated 13/31 and measuring 10,000 by 200 ft (3,048 by 61 m). The facility is owned by the United States Air Force (USAF).[1]

Although most U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, Cape Canaveral AFS Skid Strip is assigned XMR by the FAA, but has no designation from the IATA.[2]

The runway was first called the Skid Strip because SM-62 Snark cruise missiles (which lacked wheels) returning from test flights were supposed to skid to a halt on it.[3]

In the 1960s the Douglas C-133 Cargomaster was a frequent visitor, carrying modified Atlas and Titan missiles, used as launch vehicles for manned and unmanned space programs leading to the Apollo Moon landings. The Skid Strip was used by NASA's Pregnant Guppy and Super Guppy transport aircraft carrying the S-IVB upper stage for the Saturn IB and Saturn V rockets used in Project Apollo.

Today, it is predominantly used by USAF C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III and C-5 Galaxy aircraft transporting satellite payloads to CCAFS for mating with launch vehicles.

The CCAFS Skid Strip is sometimes confused with the NASA Shuttle Landing Facility, but that runway, specially constructed for the Space Shuttle, is located on Merritt Island at the adjacent John F. Kennedy Space Center.


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