Monday, May 28, 2012

Canaveral National Seashore

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A slideshow with a few photos from Florida's Canaveral National Seashore, immediately north of Kennedy Space Center. It's a fairly untouched bit of barrier island beach, at least compared to most of coastal Florida, but in the distance you can see the Vehicle Assembly Building and both of the Launch Complex 39 launch pads (used for the Space Shuttle, and Saturn V rockets before that).

If the original plans for the launch complex had come to fruition, there would have been between one and three additional Saturn V launch pads in the area, and pad E would have been right about at the point where I took these photos, if I'm reading the old maps correctly. Longer-term, less definite plans envisioned additional launch pads further north for the Nova rocket, a cancelled, even larger successor to the Saturn V. So this area would likely be very different if we'd ended up sending people to Mars back in the 70s or 80s. It wouldn't necessarily be less natural; much of today's Kennedy Space Center, other than the actual launch pads and support buildings, is still in more or less a wild state. But you certainly wouldn't be able to drive in and wander around on the beach.