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Cape Canaveral

Dr Kurt Heinrich  - Gunter Wendt - John "Shorty" Powers

Home Space Page

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Roll playing Space Age Adventures on earth based simulators lined up like "Launch Pad Row" at Cape Canaveral was the kid swings positioned as rocket launchers for us boomers to sub-orbit into the far reaches of outer space via the Prospect Park playground in Brooklyn.

Next to Disneyland or the Coney Island Amusement Park a few miles away from where I lived, the only other place for any Space Age Boomer Astronaut in Training to experience the excitement the legendary CBS reporter Walter Cronkite felt every time he watched a real live launch of a rocket with an Astronaut riding on top was Cape Canaveral.

 

Cape Canaveral had been used by the United States government to test missiles since 1949, when President Harry S. Truman established the Joint Long Range Proving Ground at Cape Canaveral.  The location was among the best in the continental United States for this purpose, as it allowed for launches out over the Atlantic Ocean, and is closer to the equator than most other parts of the United States, allowing rockets to get a boost from the Earth's rotation.

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Dr. Kurt Heinrich Debus was a former Nazi Germany V-2 rocket scientist who in 1962 became the first director of the Kennedy Space Center after being brought to the United States under Operation Paperclip.

 

In the US, Debus' organizations conducted 150 launches of military missiles and space vehicles, including 13 Saturn V rockets (Apollo 4, 6, 8-17, and Skylab).

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Gunther Wendht - Launch Pad Leader

I first learned about Gunther Wendht and the role of a Launch Pad Leader after I read an article he write in the New York Journal American, and of course I had to write him a letter and ask for an autograph, and I got back a lot more than expected..

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Press Kits Included: Project Gemini 4, Project Gemini 7/6 and a kit for the Surveyor B mission to the moon in 1966, and Voyagers trip to Mars.