All launchings – all firings – are not successful.
However, the collection of data during malfunction is even more valuable. Each launch yields knowledge. None is just a multimillion dollar failure.
Actually, what goes up – the boosters and missiles – are but a small portion of the expenditure. It takes people to make all systems go. And people means salaries and buying power. Over 26,000 people are employed at the Cape, directly engaged in the missile and space programs. Thousands more are indirectly engaged. Families more than double the number. Still many more thousands are needed to provide the services and goods that space workers and their families need. This means a rich and expanding consumer market. Brevard County, site of Cape Canaveral, is the fastest growing county in the United States, more than tripling in ten years.
But the Cape area is more than missiles and the space program. It is still a delightful place to live or to vacation. The space birds are just an added attraction.
Fishing has always been excellent in the Indian River country, whether in the ocean or on the river. Whether the fisherman is a tourist or a space scientist, the thrill is the same. All water sports are popular in the area. The Indian River, protected by the long barrier cape, is perfect for safe, sheltered boating.
From one of man’s oldest modes of transportation to his newest is but a step, here where the impact of space has marked almost everything.
New buildings in every category, such as hospitals. Schools, like Satellite High School. Churches of many denominations have been built by growing congregations in the very shadow of space age installations.
There’s the invigorating, growing quality of a frontier. But a wholly new kind of frontier: sophisticated, scientific. Its people are young, vigorous, and well educated. In fact, the greatest concentration of doctoral degrees in the country is found at the Cape. The caliber of personnel for companies like these creates an impact far greater than their number. The space scientists have been responsible for founding an engineering college close by the Cape. Universities throughout the state have stepped up programs to train young people for space and related work.
Off-campus courses in technical subjects are made available to space industry scientists through the Institute for Continuing Studies, which has university status. Enrollment in technical colleges at the universities has increased as opportunities for technical employment in Florida have increased.
The Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station at the University of Florida does research for Florida industries, including those in the space field.
Among many space related studies at the Florida State University’s Institute of Space Bioscience is one on living cells sent into space and recovered for scientific observation.