If you’ve ever been to Florida during hurricane season, you know how unforgiving the weather can be. So why do we launch rockets from Florida, a place that has a reputation for savage storms and inhospitable wildlife? The Kennedy Space Center, located in Cape Canaveral, is NASA’s most active launch site in the United States. Even though the space shuttle program ended in 2011, NASA’s flight programs continue to roll out rockets, and the exciting new Mars Rover is scheduled to launch aboard a rocket from Cape Canaveral in 2020. But why is NASA in Florida, and how did they choose that location in the first place?
As it turns out, there are actually lots of very good reasons to for NASA to launch their rockets from the sandy coasts of Florida. Despite all the hurricanes, it is still the best location in the country to launch a rocket into orbit. Economic incentives, unique geography, and nearby government installations come together to help the Space Coast live up to its name. That’s why companies like SpaceX and Boeing are flocking to the sunshine state in order to take advantage of the existing infrastructure and make their marks on the stars above.