Space Heritage

The editorial page letter below (Florida Today) affirms my view that there is much work to be done in the area of space site and artifact preservation. The fine effort to save the Apollo LUT, while both brave and bold, lacked adequate momentum and money to succeed.

Find ways to preserve more of space history

I applaud a recent letter wake-up call to save our Space Coast heritage before it is all gone with the wind. As the writer said, many launch sites are already dismantled.

Since then, a March 24 FLORIDA TODAY photo on page 1B showed the Apollo launch umbilical tower being disposed.

On the plus side, the letter also mentioned several facilities such as the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center and the Space and Missile Museum at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station that are actively preserving what they can. However, they need help.

Neither the Air Force nor NASA use taxpayer dollars expressly to preserve historical sites and facilities. The Air Force Space and Missile Museum Foundation Inc., a private nonprofit corporation, is authorized to raise money for the Museum. Perhaps their charter could be expanded to include the following launch complexes:

LC-13, the last remaining ICBM service gantry; LC-14, where Mercury Atlas astronauts flew into space; LC- 19, where Gemini-Titan missions were launched; and LC-34, where we lost three astronauts in the Apollo 1 fire.

Anyone wishing to learn more should call the Air Force Space and Missile Museum at 853-9171.

M.J. Martin
Merritt Island ————

Apparently, at least one writer of school history books doesn’t think that space exploration was a notable event of the Cold War era. My 12 year-old son’s 6th-grade US history/civics text does not mention Sputnik/Explorer I or space exploration in the Cold War chapter. The Civil Rights movement of that era receives well-deserved ink in that book, but it is apparent that the author does not feel that James Webb, Alan Shepard, Wernher von Braun, or Neil Armstrong deserve as much mention as say, Rosa Parks. Shameful!