JFK+50: Volume 7, No. 2131JFK VISITS SATURN MISSION CONTROL CENTER DAYS BEFORE DALLAS
Cape Canaveral, Florida (JFK+50) Fifty-three years ago today, November 16, 1963, President John F. Kennedy visited the Saturn Mission Control Center at Cape Canaveral. The President's visit came only six days before his ill-fated visit to Dallas, Texas.
At Complex 37, JFK was briefed by rocket scientist Dr. Werner von Braun, NASA Deputy Administrator Robert Seamans and NASA astronauts Leroy Gordon Cooper and Virgil Gus Grissom.
The United States was scheduled to launch a Saturn rocket with a 19,000 pound payload and one and a half million pounds of thrust the following month. That launch, however, came after JFK's death January 29, 1964.
The President flew by helicopter over the launch sites and to the deck of the Observation where he witnessed a Polaris missile launch from the submarine USS Andrew Jackson.
The former US Navy sailor exchanged his suit coat for a sailor's jacket and sported his signature sunglasses and a pair of binoculars. Before departing the Observation, he said a few words to the crew.
"Reflections: 1963 JFK's Final Visit to Cape Canaveral," The Florida Channel, www.thefloridachannel.org/