USS Observation Island was the only Navy ship home-ported at Port Canaveral during the space program through Apollo, and the only surface ship in the world that could fire its own ballistic missiles into space.  In this Florida Crossroads, we look at the mission of the Observation Island and its crews as they tested and perfected missiles eventually deployed on American submarines around the world; how the military and the civilian space programs evolved together at the Cape, sharing discoveries and technology; and why the Observation Island played such a major role in civilian life at the Space Coast and in the lives of its crew.

Bill Early Bill Potts Bill Whitney Bob Andry Cape Canaveral Dave Freeman Don Stock Doreen Freeman Ed Pavlak Glenn Fox Gloria Makowski JFK - John F. Kennedy John Sager NASA - National Aeronautics & Space Administration Ron "Doc" Rush Ski Wokosky space exploration Tom Dennis Tommy Watts US Military/Veterans