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Air Force Space & Missile Museum

Air Force Space & Missile Museum

The Air Force Space & Missile Museum at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station preserves both the hardware and the spirit of United States’ ventures into space. The museum displays numerous missiles, rockets and related space equipment.

Its primary mission is to collect, restore, and exhibit items of historical significance which relate to the development and heritage of U.S. Air Force space launch activities. This unique museum highlights the Air Force as a major participant in America’s space program and emphasizes activities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station beginning in early 1950 and continuing today.

Since opening to the public in 1966, the Air Force Space & Missile 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 site of the first launch of an American astronaut, Alan Shepard, into space in 1961. 

The Air Force Space and Missile History Center, an extension of the museum, is located just outside the south gate of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and contains exhibits for each launch complex at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. 

Visit option 1 – The 45th Space Wing hosts free three-hour tours of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station that originate from the History Center each Wednesday and Thursday (launch schedule permitting). Stops include the museum, lighthouse and other historic locations. View the following links to find out how to register for the tour.

Visit option 2 – The Air Force Space and Missile History Center, an extension of the museum, is open to the general public six days a week. The History Center is located just outside the south gate of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Admission is free.

Visit option 3 – The museum is accessible to the general public from a bus tour called “Cape Canaveral: Then and Now” that originates from theKennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The two and one-half hour tour includes a tour of the museum and stops at several historic sites on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The tour runs 7 days a week, launch schedule permitting.

Visit option 4 – If you work on the Cape or at Kennedy Space Center, the museum grounds are open to you seven days a week. Admission to the museum is free. Photography is allowed and encouraged. Bring your lunch and enjoy the historic surroundings. Picnic tables, restrooms, gift shop (limited hours) and soft drink machine are on site. From Phillips Parkway, follow Lighthouse Road toward SLC-17 and look for the museum sign at Complex 26. The museum is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

Visit option 5 – If you are unable to visit the museum in person, please try our Virtual Tour. Most exhibits are included in the virtual tour.

The Air Force Space and Missile History Center, an extension of the museum, is located just outside the south gate of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Admission is free. No Cape access pass is required. The History Center contains historic information and displays for each Launch Complex (LC) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

A gift shop and rest rooms are available inside the building. The shaded picnic area is just outside the History Center door, so bring your lunch and enjoy the afternoon. Cold drinks are available for purchase inside.

Hours of operation:

  • Tuesday-Friday 9AM-2PM
  • Saturday 9AM-5PM
  • Sunday Noon-4PM

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