The Secret 10-Story Space Rocket Buried in the Swamps of Florida

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Image: Fred Szabries

Finally, the halfway point. See those buildings? The ones behind the barbed wire, covered in vines? Those are the labs, factories and assembly facilities where they made the solid fuel and various components that went into the rocket. Keep walking because we’re not going in there. Those buildings are in a dangerous state of disrepair. Florida weather, which includes hurricanes, is relentless. A Category 5 monster named Andrew rolled through here back in ’92 and these buildings took the brunt. They’re also not very interesting, and we still have a long way to go.


Image: Fred Szabries

Almost there. That giant shed off in the distance is our target. I know it looks like it’s in the middle of the actual swamp, but it sits on a road perpendicular to this one. We’ll know which road it is because there are no others.

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Image: Fred Szabries

Yes, it’s much bigger than it looks when you get here. See those tracks in the asphalt? Those allowed the building to be rolled out of the way while they test-fired the rocket. Yes, they did fire it. Three times. Can you imagine the awesome sight that must have been? It was surely visible for miles. That’s why this place is so far out here. The rocket builders thought it would be un-neighborly to burn tons of rocket fuel near someone’s backyard, or to incinerate the neighbors if something went awry.

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