Spaceflight Insider

CCAFS heavily damaged by Hurricane Matthew


Hurricane Matthew damaged an array of structures at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida when it approached the historic site on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. Photo Credit: 45th Space Wing / USAF

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — With Hurricane Matthew moving on, residents in and along Florida’s Space Coast are getting the first sense of the havoc that the storm wrought. Perhaps some of the more dramatic imagery has come from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station where an iconic landmark appears to have been destroyed.

The Navajo rocket, which resided at the entrance to the U.S. Air Force Space Missile History Center adjacent to Gate One at Cape Canaveral, was toppled from its display stand and now lies crumpled on the ground at the base. This, however, was not the extent of the damage inflicted by Matthew, which at one point measured a powerful Category 4.

Many buildings within the U.S. Air Force base have had their roofs ripped off and the wall of at least one building has crumbled.

Matthew approached the Space Coast, which stretches the length of Brevard County in Florida, on the morning of Friday, Oct. 7. As the hurricane traveled along the coast, it washed away a portion of Florida State Road A1A.

In terms of space assets, the various launch vehicles that are currently being prepped for flight at the Cape were secured and power to the area had been shut off by the 45th Space Wing on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Next door, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, buildings at KSC were built to be able to withstand wind speeds of 105–125 mph (170–200 km/h). As soon as word on what, if any, damage the facilities at Kennedy incurred due to Hurricane Matthew, SpaceFlight Insider will provide an update.

hurricane-matthew-caused-extensive-damage-to-cape-canaveral-air-force-station-in Florida photo credit 45th Space Wing

Matthew only paid the Space Coast a glancing blow, but the damage around the Cape was clearly visible. Photo Credit: 45th Space Wing / NASA / NOAA



Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology,, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

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