Jump to content

Space Coast

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Location of Florida's Space Coast
Florida's Space Coast surrounding Merritt Island, seen from the International Space Station

The Space Coast is a region in the U.S. state of Florida around the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. It is one of several "themed" coasts around Florida. All orbital launches from American soil carrying NASA astronauts (running from Project Mercury in 1961 to the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, and since 2020 using the SpaceX Dragon 2) have departed from either KSC or Cape Canaveral. The Space Force Station has also launched unmanned military and civilian rockets. Cities in the area include Port St. John, Titusville, Cocoa, Rockledge, Cape Canaveral, Merritt Island (unincorporated), Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, Indialantic, Melbourne Beach, Palm Bay, and Viera (unincorporated). Most of the area lies within Brevard County. It is bounded on the south by the Treasure Coast, on the west and north by Central Florida (and is economically tied to that region), and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean.

One reason rockets are launched from the Space Coast has to do with the Earth's rotation. The Earth rotates from west to east, most quickly at the equator, and to take advantage of this, adding the speed of rotation to the orbital velocity of the rocket, it is most beneficial to launch eastward from a location near the equator. Launching from an uninhabited location on an easterly coast at low latitude, minimizing the danger posed by debris from a failed launch, is ideal both for the safety of the people on the ground and for fuel efficiency of the rocket. Given the high population densities in coastal Texas, South Florida, and Puerto Rico, the Space Coast is often considered the best location when all factors are taken into account.[1]

Space-named landmarks (outside KSC and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station)[edit]

Many places near the Cape are named for subjects relating to the US space program including vehicles, astronauts, and the spaceport itself.

Telephone area code[edit]

When the region became too heavily populated to be served by only one area code, a local resident Robert Osband (aka Richard Cheshire)[13] discovered that area code 321 was not assigned to any other territory (though it was being considered for the suburban Chicago area).[notes 1] If each number is pronounced individually—"3, 2, 1"—the pronunciation resembles the countdown before liftoff; thus, the resident petitioned for the code to be assigned to the Space Coast region. His efforts were popular among local residents and resulted in success; the new code officially became effective on November 1, 1999.[14][15]


Because it is home to Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station the local area is popular with visitors to watch rocket launches in person. Over 100,000 people are believed to have been present in February 2018 for the Falcon Heavy test flight.[16] It is home to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, US Space Walk of Fame, and the Air Force Space and Missile Museum. Nearly 1 million people were present to watch the last space shuttle launch in 2011. 150,000 people were present for the Crew Dragon Demo-2 launch. The area is also home to many space-themed businesses. 750,000 to 900,000 people gathered on the space coast to watch the Apollo 11 launch in 1969.[17]

The area also sees Christmas tourism, as thousands of people attend the Surfing Santas festival in Cocoa Beach (by Cape Canaveral) over the holiday season.[18] Cocoa Beach attracts all types of people looking for a vacation because of the beachy location. A weekend here may have people stopping by a surf museum or shopping at a tiki gallery.[19]


Brevard Business News is a weekly newspaper in Melbourne, Florida, United States covering business news and trends for the Space Coast. Fred Krupski started Brevard Business News in 1981,[20] and Adrienne B. Roth purchased it in 1986.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ This includes most of the county except the Southern portion.


  1. ^ "Why is Cape Canaveral America's Launch Spot?". VisitSpaceCoast.com. Retrieved 2023-07-28.
  2. ^ "City Facilities - Alan Shepard Park". City of Cocoa Beach. Retrieved February 3, 2023.
  3. ^ "Apollo Elementary School". Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Atlantis Elementary School" (PDF). Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Discovery Elementary School". Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Endeavour Elementary Magnet: About Us". Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Schools Listing". Archived from the original on 23 March 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Cocoa Beach, Florida: "I Dream of Jeannie" TV Town". RoadsideAmerica.com. Retrieved February 3, 2023.
  9. ^ "Mila Elementary School". Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  10. ^ Saggio, Jessica (August 11, 2015). "So what does the name MILA Elementary actually mean?". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. p. 1B. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  11. ^ "spacecoastsurge.com - spacecoastsurge Resources and Information". www.spacecoastsurge.com. Archived from the original on 3 February 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  12. ^ "Space Coast Florida - Space View Park". visitspacecoast.com. Retrieved February 3, 2023.
  13. ^ Cheshire, Richard. "How I Got My Own Area Code". Archived from the original on 2005-08-28. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  14. ^ Osband, Robert. "Spacey Ideas - A Chronology of Events regarding Area Code 321". spaceyideas.com. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Countdown Starts For New Area Code On Space Coast". 18 January 2000. Archived from the original on 18 January 2000. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  16. ^ Kelly, Emre. "SpaceX Falcon Heavy with Block 5 boosters targeted for fall launch from KSC". Florida Today.
  17. ^ "Tourism: Apollo's Forgotten Legacy". The Planetary Society.
  18. ^ "Florida Today". www.floridatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-12-22.
  19. ^ "Cape Canaveral Tours: Visit Cape Canaveral for Space Coast History". www.visitflorida.com. 2018-02-06. Retrieved 2023-07-28.
  20. ^ Mathers, Sandra. "She Mastered World Of Weekly Newspapers", Orlando Sentinel, April 18, 1997. Retrieved on May 26, 2011.