Since opening to the public in 1966, the museum has introduced millions of visitors to the history of rocketry and space flight. The museum grounds encompass two adjoining launch complexes, Launch Complex 26 and Launch Complex 5/6.
Launch Complex 26 is the site of the first successful launch of an American satellite, Explorer I, in 1958 by the U.S. Army. Beginning with early Redstone, Jupiter and Juno flights in 1957, Launch Complex 26 hosted 36 launches until its deactivation in 1963. Three primates, Gordo, Able and Miss Baker, were launched here in 1958 and 1959, paving the way for future manned space flights. Launch Complex 26 also served as the site of numerous Jupiter launches as part of NATO's combat crew training program through the early 1960s.
Launch Complex 5/6 is the launch site for the earliest Project Mercury missions. It was from Pad 5 that the first two American astronauts, Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom, were launched into space during 1961.
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The Museum located at Launch Complex 26 is now open for visits via the Kennedy Visitors Center "Then and Now" tour 4 days a week: Thurday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Also, please visit the Air Force Space and Missile History Center which is OPEN and located near the South Gate of the Cape (outside of secured areas) No Admission Fee. No security clearance required.
Click here for Directions to the History Center