CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – SpaceX launched the ANASIS-II from Kennedy Space Center today on the 51st anniversary of the moon landing.
July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong famously declared, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”as he stepped onto the surface of the moon. 51 years to date, private space exploration company SpaceX sends ANASIS-II into orbit aboard Falcon-9.
ANASIS-II is South Korea’s first dedicated military communications satellite. It will be held in geostationary orbit above the Korean Peninsula (which means the satellite will move at the same speed as the Earth, appearing to be fixed in the sky). South Korea is a U.S. ally, and its satellite information will help the U.S. monitor the region in a time of constant threat from North Korea.
After a brief weather delay, the rocket was launched at 5:30 EST, and has successfully arrived in its orbit.
The rocket carrying the satellite Falcon-9, used a first-stage booster to help get past Earth’s gravitational pull. This booster is the same used two months ago on the SpaceX mission that sent American astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station.
Falcon-9’s reusable rocket component design was groundbreaking, but is only the first step for Elon Musk, founder and inventor of SpaceX and Tesla. His team is currently working on the “Starship” rocket, which will be completely reusable and capable of taking up to 100 passengers to the Moon and Mars.
As Elon Musk and SpaceX have shocked the world with its ingenious designs and daring missions, visitors have flocked to Kennedy Space Center to watch.
In May, SpaceX’s first human flight attracted tens of thousands of visitors to Florida, with more than 10 million people watching online. Buzz Aldrin, who accompanied Neil Armstrong on the Apollo 13 mission, was watching from home, tweeting, “This brings back good memories.”
Today, the beaches and parks were again crowded with eager onlookers. People barbecued and swam as they counted down to the event.
Attending rocket launches is a local tradition for Florida residents, and a favorite vacation trip for those around the country. The alluring nature of Florida’s coast, the fun experiences the Space Visitor Complex has to offer, and the sheer thrill of seeing rockets launch inspire generation after generation to return.
Since the 1960’s, Kennedy Space Center has been allowing visitors to witness the awe-inspiring launches from large viewing stands that directly face the launch sites. Their website describes it as a “jaw dropping, bucket-list experience.”
But the entertainment complex has much more to offer. Huge rockets grace the entrance, and visitors peer into the sky as they stand in line for tickets. Stepping through the gates is like stepping back in time to the 1960’s. The architecture, colors, uniforms, and food are all period, and help immerse visitors. There are a slew of rides, simulators, exhibits, tours, and galleries to explore. The Center hosts astronaut meet and greets for families, astronaut training for adults, and space exploration camps for kids.
In “The World’s Largest Space Shop”, guests can buy actual meteorite fragments, dehydrated ice cream, and historical mission patches. The park welcomes over 1.5 million visitors every year, and is constantly adding and updating its amenities.
In 2019, the center celebrated the 50-year anniversary of the moon landings with special exhibits and celebrations. A year later, it celebrates with the ANASIS-II satellite launch.
This latest launch only proves that space exploration is thriving. SpaceX is developing new technologies and leading the mission to Mars. NASA is continuing its research into off-planet life sustainability, and Kennedy Space Center is keeping the public interested, engaged, and donating.
Any visitors to Florida should schedule their trip around a launch, because while Orlando is the theme park capital, an entirely unique experience is only an hour-and-a-half away.
Marcos Barrios is a Florida National News contributing writer. The avid writer and musician is passionate about politics and entertainment in Florida and abroad.