Click on the images below to view a larger version.19 Dec 1972 - The USS Ticonderoga picked up the crew of Apollo 17, the last Apollo lunar landing mission, marking the completion of the Apollo Program. The crew included Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and civilian Harrison Schmitt, Ph. D., a geologist. Launch took place 12 days earlier on Dec. 7. A total of 243 pounds of lunar rocks and soil samples were collected.
|14 May 1973 - The launch of Skylab 1, NASA's first space station, took place at 1:30 p.m. EDT. During its lifetime, it was inhabited by three three-man crews, each crew's stay being longer than the last. Altogether, the three crews traveled 70.5 million miles inside Skylab over the 171 days, 13 hours, and 14 minutes they spent orbiting the Earth. Skylab re-entered the Earth's atmosphere at 12:37 p.m. EDT, July 11, 1979, near southeastern Australia, after more than six years in orbit.|
|29 May 1973 - Florida Gov. Reuben Askew signed a legislative enactment which restored the name of the geographic cape to Cape Canaveral from Cape Kennedy, a name it had held for almost ten years. The U.S. Department of the Interior's Board of Geographical Names followed suit on Oct. 9.|
|28 Jan 1975 - Lee R. Scherer officially assumed his duties as the second KSC director. During the four and one-half years he was at the helm, KSC launch teams assembled, tested, and launched 66 space vehicles with a 97 percent success rate. He oversaw launches in the Apollo-Soyuz, Viking and Voyager programs. NASA Administrator Dr. Robert Frosch selected Scherer to fill the vacant position of associate administrator of External Relations at NASA Headquarters in August 1979.
|15 July 1975 - Both the Soviet Soyuz and American Apollo spacecraft participating in the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project launched on July 15. The spacecraft docked on July 17 and undocked on July 19. This first cooperative space initiative between Russians and Americans included four transfer operations between the two spacecraft and five completed experiments. The crews also provided television views of the interior of the two spacecraft, and demonstrated various aspects of space operations. The Soyuz crew landed safely on July 21 and the Apollo crew on July 24, nine days after launch. + View video feature|
|Sept 1979 - Richard G. Smith was named the third KSC Director. He spent his entire career in the space program, serving in positions of increasing responsibility at Redstone Arsenal, Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA Headquarters, and finally, at KSC. During his tenure, he oversaw the first launch in the Space Shuttle Program. He retired from NASA on July 31, 1986, to take a job in the private sector.|
|24 Mar 1979 - The first Space Shuttle orbiter, Columbia, arrived at KSC and spent 610 days being prepared for launch in one of the twin bays in the Orbiter Processing Facility. This facility built specifically to support the Space Shuttle Program, houses and protects the orbiters during most of the time they spend on the ground.