Space Coast

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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 Air Force Station. All of NASA-launched manned spaceflights (running from Project Mercury in 1961 to the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011) have departed from either KSC or Cape Canaveral. The Air Force Station has also launched unmanned military and civilian rockets. Cities in the area include Titusville, Cocoa, Rockledge, Cape Canaveral, Merritt Island (unincorporated), Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Indialantic, 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 in Florida has to do with the Earth's rotation. The Earth rotates most quickly at the equator, and to take advantage of this, in adding to the orbital velocity of the rocket, it is most beneficial to launch from a southerly location (near the equator). In addition, to take advantage of the direction of rotation of the planet, launching from a location on an easterly coast where there is no inhabited population where debris would land in an emergency would be ideal for both the safety of the people on the ground and for fuel efficiency of the rocket. The only locations in the United States capable of this are on the east coasts of Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, but given the high population densities in coastal Texas, South Florida, and Puerto Rico, the Space Coast is the best location when all factors are taken into account.[citation needed]

Space-named landmarks (outside KSC and Cape Canaveral Air 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)[citation needed] 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.[9][10]

Tourism[edit]

The local area is popular with visitors to watch rocket launches in person. Over 100,000 people are believe to have been present in February 2018 for the Falcon Heavy test flight.[11]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Apollo Elementary School". Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Atlantis Elementary School" (PDF). Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Discovery Elementary School". Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Endeavour Elementary Magnet: About Us". Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Schools Listing". Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Mila Elementary School". Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  7. ^ Saggio, Jessica (August 11, 2015). "So what does the name MILA Elementary actually mean?". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. p. 1B. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  8. ^ "spacecoastsurge.com - spacecoastsurge Resources and Information". www.spacecoastsurge.com. Archived from the original on 3 February 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  9. ^ Osband, Robert. "Spacey Ideas - A Chronology of Events regarding Area Code 321". spaceyideas.com. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Countdown Starts For New Area Code On Space Coast". 18 January 2000. Archived from the original on 18 January 2000. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  11. ^ https://eu.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2018/06/05/spacex-air-force-targeting-fall-next-falcon-heavy-launch-ksc-florida/669651002/