Today, Space Florida honors Apollo 11 Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin for their fearlessness as they launched aboard a Saturn V rocket from Cape Kennedy (now Kennedy Space Center) on this day in 1969. Their achievements and pioneer spirit inspired a nation and stimulated future space exploration.
On this day, Space Florida recognizes the workforce behind the scenes of the Apollo 11 mission. The Race to the Moon brought forth America’s best and the brightest of that generation. And nowhere else did that talent and commitment come together in action than here at the Cape. Just as we rightfully honor the humbling achievements of 50 years ago, so to do we welcome a new generation of space talent blazing new trails to the heavens.
The Space Age forever changed the State of Florida as cities like Titusville, Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach grew rapidly, and the State welcomed thousands of workers. Florida’s Space Coast also saw a boom in tourism, as more than 750,000 flocked to the area for the Apollo 11 launch, filling motels and restaurants. Today, Florida’s aerospace industry employs more than 150,000 individuals in approximately 16,019 aerospace-related companies generating more than $19 billion in sales and revenue.
During the Apollo Era, there were 13 Saturn V launches from Kennedy Space Center, formerly known as Cape Kennedy. Last year, the Cape Canaveral Spaceport witnessed 20 launches. Fifty years after the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing, we’re watching a transformation of the spaceport from what was once solely federal to increasing and inevitably commercial.
On this day, 50 years ago, the world watched as American astronauts stepped foot on the moon, forever changing the landscape of space exploration and inspiring generations. Today, Space Florida pays tribute to the Apollo 11 mission and the impact it’s had on the human spirit, future space exploration and technology. We look forward to continuing the legacy of Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins as Florida’s space industry witnesses a new era of space exploration.