Florida's Space Coast
The Impact of NASA on the Sunshine State

William Barnaby Faherty, S.J.

Foreword by Raymond Arsenault and Gary Mormino, Series Editors

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The story of how NASA transformed Florida's East Coast over half a century
"An important, interesting study of the relations between the Kennedy Space Center and the communities of Brevard County, Florida."—Roger D. Launius, former chief historian, NASA, Washington, D.C.
“Packed with fascinating insights about that special time and place and how it changed the lives of everyone in America.”—H-Net
"This outstanding book provides readers of Florida history our first insight into the impact that high technology has had on the state. Brevard County is a veritable laboratory for understanding what happens when space science and engineering put down roots in a wilderness setting. Faherty's writing is direct, simple, even folksy at times. I devoured it!"—Michael Gannon, author of Pearl Harbor Betrayed and A Short History of Florida

Florida’s Space Coast tells the compelling story of America's half century in space exploration from the successful launch of the first two-stage rocket in 1950 through the space shuttle missions of 2000. Told from the unique viewpoint of the people who built the Spaceport, this book shows how the space program transformed the east central Florida coast from a traditional citrus production and tourist area to one of the most influential high-tech centers in the nation.

Cape Canaveral was chosen as a missile launch site because of its many geographical advantages. However, in the early years of the space program, the area was far from an ideal place for NASA employees to raise their families. NASA brought in thousands of space-related workers, who, besides sending machines and people into space, had to meet the challenge of moving their families from urban environs to a rural southern county. This book engagingly recounts the parallel stories of the establishment of America's space program and its impact on the development of Brevard County.

William Barnaby Faherty (1914-2011) was professor emeritus of history at St. Louis University and director of the Museum of the Western Jesuit Missions in Hazelwood, Missouri. He is coauthor of Gateway to the Moon: Building the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex and Moon Launch! A History of the Saturn-Apollo Launch Operations.  
A volume in the Florida History and Culture series, edited by Raymond Arsenault and Gary R. Mormino
Sample Chapter(s):
Table of Contents

Missouri Writers Guild Book of the Year - 2003

"If you have any interest in the space program and Florida's contribution to it, you'll like this book. It's a fascinating personal account of significant events in the nation's and Florida's history." - Villages Sun
--The Villages Sun

"Faherty is a fine writer who keeps his myriad of facts breezing along. It's an immensely entertaining look at an area whose five-decade boom rests solely on the shoulders of America's pioneer spirit." - Tampa Tribune
--Tampa Tribune

" Packed with fascinating insights about that special time and place and how it changed the lives of everyone in America, including the people in Brevard County."

"Packed with fascinating insights about that special time and place and how it changed the lives of everyone in America."

"His new book provides an excellent, nonacademic introduction to NASA's nearly fifty years of spectacular successes and heartbreaking failures."
--The Journal of Southern History

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