Photo exhibits spotlight various topics in Florida history, and are accompanied by brief text intended to place selected materials in historical context.
NASA Turns 50
Florida's Half Century on the Space Age Frontier
After 50 years of space exploration and technological development, NASA has contributed significantly to world knowledge and to a broader vision for the future.
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After the successful Apollo launches and subsequent change in direction of NASA's mission and goals, major portions of NASA personnel and members of the area's space-related workforce left for high-tech and military career opportunities in the Pacific northwest, southern California, and the northeastern states. However, thousands of native Floridians and recruited workers stayed following decades of serving the nation's drive to explore space.
An entire generation of space-industry workers retired in the space coast area. Other initiatives such as environmental services, including the development of solar energy technology, attracted even more skilled workers to the Space Coast. After five decades of space age development, Florida remains one of the nation's centers for technology and manufacturing industries, as well as still serving as the home of the world's most significant space port.
The mission of NASA and the successes of American adventures in space broadened not only our understanding of science and space, but the imagination of people around the world, empowering all of us with the sense that anything is possible and that as interconnected as the modern world is, there are still goals to strive for and new places to explore.
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Catchpole, John. Project Mercury: NASA's First Manned Space Programme. New York: Springer, 2001.
Faherty, William Barnaby. Florida's Space Coast: the Impact of NASA on the Sunshine State. Foreword by Gary R. Mormino and Raymond Arsenault. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 2002.
Kranz, Gene. Failure is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.
Lipartito, Kenneth and Orville R. Butler. A History of the Kennedy Space Center. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 2007.
Logsdon, John M., Moderator. Legislative Origins of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958: Proceedings of an Oral History Workshop Conducted April 3, 1992. Online resource available at http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/40thann/legorgns.pdf. Washington, DC.: NASA History Office, 1998.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Kennedy Space Center: Kennedy's Rich History. http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/about/history/index.html
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