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Kennedy History Quiz
1962 - 2012
Drawing with moon, Earth, palm tree and rocket launching, and 50th set on a dark blue background with the words: Kennedy Space Center, 50th Anniversary. If you missed a weekly quiz about Kennedy's 50 years of space history, check out the questions below. The answers are listed at the bottom of the page.

1. Who was the first director at what would later become Kennedy Space Center?
a. Chuck Yeager
b. John Glenn
c. Kurt Debus
d. Wernher von Braun

2. How many tons of structural steel make up the skeletal frame of the Vehicle Assembly Building?
a. 10,000
b. 20,000
c. 60,000
d. 100,000

3. When completed in 1965, the Launch Control Center won an award for:
a. Design
b. Electronics
c. Safety
d. Technology

4. Before it became an independent NASA installation, the center was a directorate under what other NASA center?
a. Johnson
b. Marshall
c. Ames

5. What was the center named in 1962 when first designated an independent NASA installation?
a. Launch Operations Center
b. Cape Kennedy
c. Florida Launch Center
d. Merritt Island Launch Complex

6. Feb. 20, 2012, marked the 50th anniversary of the first American to orbit Earth. Who was it?
a. Alan Shepard
b. Gus Grissom
c. John Glenn
d. Scott Carpenter

7. Technology used in Ohio coal mining was used to build the:
a. LC-39 launch pads
b. Crawler transporters
c. Vehicle Assembly Building
d. Saturn rocket

8. President John F. Kennedy made how many trips to the launch center that was later named for him?
a. None
b. Just one
c. Three
d. Five

9. What was the original name of the Vehicle Assembly Building?
a. Rocket Assembly Facility
b. Vertical Assembly Building
c. Vehicle Processing Facility
d. Saturn Assembly Building

10. The crawlerway was built to withstand loads in excess of how many pounds per square foot?
a. 7,000
b. 10,000
c. 12,000
d. 15,000

11. What was the original name for the mobile launchers during the Apollo Program?
a. Launcher Umbilical Towers
b. Fixed Service Structures
c. Launch Support Towers
d. Saturn Umbilical Towers

12. What name was the Operations and Checkout Building known by during the Apollo Program?
a. Manned Spacecraft Checkout Building
b. Manned Spaceflight Operations Building
c. Manned Spacecraft Test Facility
d. Manned Spacecraft Operations Building

13. How many launch pads were constructed in Launch Complex 39 to support the Apollo Program?
a. One
b. Two
c. Three
d. Four

14. NASA's shuttle era began April 12, 1981, with the launch of which space shuttle on the STS-1 mission.
a. Atlantis
b. Challenger
c. Columbia
d. Discovery
e. Endeavour
f. Enterprise

15. What caused the Apollo 13 mission to be aborted in April 1970?
a. Propulsion system running out of fuel
b. A crew member's sickness
c. The capsule going off course
d. An oxygen tank rupture

16. Which one of NASA's original seven astronauts, selected in April 1959, did not fly on his first space mission until the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975?
a. Alan Shepard
b. Gus Grissom
c. Gordon Cooper
d. Deke Slayton

17. Which space shuttle was the first to land in darkness at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility?
a. Atlantis
b. Challenger
c. Columbia
d. Discovery
e. Endeavour
f. Enterprise

18. Rockets occupied both pads at Launch Complex 39 for the first time in May 1973 for which NASA program?
a. Mercury
b. Gemini
c. Apollo
d. Skylab

19. What was the name of Scott Carpenter's Mercury capsule that launched 50 years ago on May 24?
a. Aurora 7
b. Faith 7
c. Freedom 7
d. Sigma 7

20. The largest American flag and Bicentennial logo ever painted were displayed on which of Kennedy's buildings?
a. Headquarters
b. Operations and Checkout
c. Space Station Processing Facility
d. Vehicle Assembly Building

21. How many times were space shuttles ferried to Kennedy Space Center simultaneously?
a. Once
b. Twice
c. Three times
d. Four times
e. Never

22. Which of these is not one of NASA's "Great Observatories?"
a. Hubble
b. Spitzer
d. Chandra

23. How many shuttle end-of-mission landings took place at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility?
a. 49
b. 78
c. 95
d. 103

24. How many of space shuttle Columbia's thermal protection system tiles were installed after its arrival at Kennedy?
a. 1,000
b. 8,000
c. 10,000
d. 12,000

25. What year did the first space shuttle arrive at Kennedy?
a. 1979
b. 1980
c. 1981
d. 1982

26. When did Skylab, NASA's first space station, re-enter Earth's atmosphere?
a. 1973
b. 1975
c. 1979
d. 1980

27. After launching on the first lunar-landing mission on July 16, 1969, approximately how many miles did the Apollo 11 crew travel in eight days?
a. 200,000
b. 450,000
c. 750,000
d. 950,000

28. On July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 lunar module carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on what area of the moon?
a. Sea of Tranquility
b. Ocean of Storms
c. Fra Mauro
d. Hadley-Apennine

29. Lee Scherer, Kennedy Space Center's second director, was director of which other NASA center?
a. Marshall
b. Johnson
c. Dryden
d. Goddard

30. Who was the first civilian astronaut to fly in space?
a. John Glenn
b. Neil Armstrong
c. Sally Ride
d. John Young

31. How many Kennedy Space Center directors were former NASA astronauts?
a. None
b. One
c. Three
d. Five

A new question will be added weekly on Fridays throughout our 50th anniversary year so check back!

Quiz Answers:

1. Dr. Kurt H. Debus served a long tenure as the first center director of the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida -- from 1962 to 1974.

2. The skeletal framework of the VAB consists of 60,000 tons of structural steel, comprised of 45,000 separate pieces, fastened together with 1,000,000 high-strength bolts.

3. The Launch Control Center won the 1965 Architectural Award for the Industrial Design of the Year.

4. The center was the Launch Operations Directorate before it was separated from the Marshall Space Flight Center by executive order in July 1962.

5. In July 1962, the center was designated the Launch Operations Center. It was renamed the John F. Kennedy Space Center in December 1963.

6. On Feb. 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth, making three revolutions in his Friendship 7 spacecraft before splashing down 800 miles southeast of Bermuda.

7. The technology used by the Marion Power Shovel Company to build the huge, reliable crawler transporters was deeply rooted in the coal fields of Ohio.

8. President Kennedy visited what was then called the Launch Operations Center three times -- twice in 1962, and a third time just a week before his assassination in November 1963.

9. The Vehicle Assembly Building was originally known as the Vertical Assembly Building during the early phases of its construction.

10. With each of the crawler's four tractor units calculated to exert 4,400,000 pounds of load, the crawlerway must withstand in excess of 12,000 pounds per square foot.

11. The mobile launchers originally were named launcher umbilical towers, or LUTs, after their most dominant feature.

12. The Operations and Checkout Building was called the Manned Spacecraft Operations Building during the Apollo Program and housed the astronaut crew quarters.

13. Although several launch pads on Cape Canaveral were used for the Apollo Program, only two pads were constructed in Launch Complex 39 to support the Saturn V rocket.

14. Columbia, the first shuttle built, was delivered to Kennedy Space Center in 1979 and flew the first five space shuttle missions.

15. A ruptured service module oxygen tank on Apollo 13 caused a power failure of the command and service module electrical system, requiring that the mission be aborted.

16. Deke Slayton was grounded due to a heart condition, discovered in August 1959, but was restored to full flight status in March 1972.

17. Discovery was the first space shuttle to land at night on Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility runway, touching down at 3:56 a.m. EDT on Sept. 22, 1993.

18. In May 1973, a Saturn V rocket stood ready to launch the uncrewed Skylab workshop on Pad A as a Saturn IB rocket was prepared to launch the Skylab-2 crew from Pad B.

19. Scott Carpenter became the fourth American to fly in space when he orbited Earth three times in his capsule, Aurora 7, after launching on May 24, 1962.

20. The largest American flag and Bicentennial logo were painted on the Vehicle Assembly Building in preparation for America's Bicentennial Exposition at Kennedy in 1976.

21. Two space shuttles were flown on the backs of NASA's twin shuttle carrier aircraft from California to Kennedy Space Center only once, on March 6, 2001.

22. TDRS is not. NASA's "Great Observatories" are: Chandra X-ray Observatory, Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope and the deorbited Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.

23. When the shuttle program ended in 2011, Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility had been the landing site for 78 shuttle missions.

24. Space shuttle Columbia was delivered from California without about 8,000 of its thermal protection system tiles, which were later installed by technicians at Kennedy.

25. The first space shuttle, Columbia, was delivered to Kennedy on March 24, 1979, arriving at the Shuttle Landing Facility aboard a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.

26. Skylab re-entered Earth's atmosphere in July 1979. Astronauts lived and worked aboard Skylab, NASA's first space station, between May 1973 and February 1974.

27. On July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 crew became the first to launch on a lunar-landing mission, beginning a journey of more than 950,000 miles in eight days.

28. On July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 lunar module carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the area of the moon known as the Sea of Tranquility.

29. Lee Scherer was director of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center before becoming director of Kennedy Space Center in January 1975.

30. Neil Armstrong was the first civilian astronaut to fly in space during the Gemini 8 mission in 1966.

31. Three Kennedy Space Center directors were former NASA astronauts: Robert Crippen, Roy Bridges and Robert Cabana.