Happy Birthday, Kennedy Space Center! On July 1, 1962, NASA established the Launch Operations Center — which was later renamed the Kennedy Space Center — on the east coast of Florida. After President John F. Kennedy famously said that American astronauts would land on the moon by 1970, NASA had to build a launch facility for their gigantic new Saturn V rocket. The facilities at Cape Canaveral couldn't support such an enormous vehicle, so NASA started building their new launch center just a few miles away on Merritt Island. Since the 1960s, this spaceport has supported all crewed spaceflight missions from the U.S., including all of the Apollo moon missions and 135 space shuttle flights.