45th Space Wing hosts Cape Family Day 2018

The 45th Space Wing hosted its second annual Cape Family Day April 21, 2018 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. More than 2,500 visitors travelled to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to observe various attractions, immerse themselves in the rich space culture and spend quality time with their loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zoe Thacker)

The 45th Space Wing hosted its second annual Cape Family Day April 21, 2018 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. More than 2,500 visitors travelled to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to observe various attractions, immerse themselves in the rich space culture and spend quality time with their loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zoe Thacker)

The 45th Space Wing hosted its second annual Cape Family Day April 21, 2018 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. More than 2,500 visitors travelled to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to observe various attractions, immerse themselves in the rich space culture and spend quality time with their loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zoe Thacker)

The 45th Space Wing hosted its second annual Cape Family Day April 21, 2018 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. More than 2,500 visitors travelled to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to observe various attractions, immerse themselves in the rich space culture and spend quality time with their loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zoe Thacker)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The 45th Space Wing hosted its second annual Cape Family Day April 21, 2018 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

More than 2,500 visitors made their way to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to observe various attractions, immerse themselves in the rich space culture and spend quality time with their loved ones.

Despite the overcast skies and light precipitation, visitors began filing in CCAFS gates at 8 a.m. to begin their day.

The first stop for many families began outside the gates and inside the Sands Space History Center, where they were shielded from the elements. The history center showcases historic facts and displays for each launch complex at the Cape – as well as housing a gift shop.

Once families made it through the gate, it was on to the Morrell Operations Center (MOC) – home of the 45th Weather Squadron and the 1st Range Operations Squadron. The MOC is the hub of Eastern Range operations.

The next stop on the family tour was the Sands Space History Museum Annex. There, visitors were able to view various missiles, rocket parts, payloads and support hardware from many important launches in hsitory. Visitors also had the opportunity to see different aspects of the 'space-race' era, including showcasing women's important role in space, the Explorer I project and a special dedicated section for the animals who made their way into space.

Driving further into CCAFS, visitors reached Hangar C – one of the oldest standing structures at the Cape. At Hangar C, various aircraft from over time were on display in addition to space launch hardware.

Walking a few hundred feet from Hangar C, visitors could take a look at the historic Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and walk up the open flights of stairs to see what history, memorabilia and view that the lighthouse had to offer.

One of the last venues on the Cape Family Day 2018 tour was a stop at Launch Complex 34. Launch Complex 34 was the first launch complex built for the peaceful exploration of space and was home to seven launches.

Hundreds of families cycled through the tour and got to spend time with their family while bonding over the history of the area and show their loved ones how they contribute to the mission.

“I always loved space,” said Andrew Brown, a space enthusiast whose grandson works at the Cape. “I think it’s great that the Cape opened to families so that we can see what our loved ones do on a daily basis and what they’re around every day. There’s so much to learn here and this is a great opportunity for us to spend quality time with each other.”