The John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is the NASA installation that has been the launch site for every United States human space flight since 1968. Although such flights are currently on hiatus, KSC continues to manage and operate unmanned rocket launch facilities for America's civilian space program from three pads at the adjoining Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Located on Merritt Island, Florida, the center is north-northwest of Cape Canaveral on the Atlantic Ocean, midway between Miami and Jacksonville on Florida's Space Coast. Facilities at the Kennedy Space Center are directly related to its mission to launch, and in some cases recover, manned and unmanned missions. Facilities are available to prepare and maintain spacecraft and payloads for flight.
Florida's peninsular shape and temperature contrasts between land and ocean provide ideal conditions for electrical storms, earning Central Florida the reputation as "lightning capital of the United States". This makes extensive lightning protection and detection systems necessary to protect employees, structures and spacecraft on launch pads safe.