The Astronaut Beach House

Before astronauts get suited up and launch into space, they spend a few days relaxing with their families at a private beach house near Cape Canaveral in Florida. The 2-story beach house — located about a mile from the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center — is situated above the dunes at the edge of a pristine beach. The house provides spectacular views of the vast ocean and sky, as well as the launch pad. Its isolation makes it the perfect place for the astronauts to bid farewell to their families. The house was originally built in the 1940s as part of the Neptune Beach subdivision, but in 1963 the property was bought by NASA to accommodate expanding Kennedy Space Center. While most of the other houses were torn down, the beach house was saved from the wrecking ball. In the early days, during NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Programs, between missions the beach house was used by the space agency as a place for official meetings, conferences and brainstorming sessions. Although the beach house hasn’t seen much use since the Shuttle program ended in 2011, it's still an important part of history.