By Cliff Lethbridge

Skid Strip.jpg


Current Status: No Longer Used for Missile Launches

First Launch: August 19, 1955

Final Launch: January 26, 1959

Total Number of Launches: 15

Vehicles Launched: Navaho X-10

The Cape Canaveral Skid Strip was built in the early 1950’s in support of the Snark winged missile program. Although Snark missiles did not have landing gear, they had a skid plate on the bottom of the vehicle, which allowed it to “skid” upon landing. That is the reason the traditionally appearing runway was called the “skid strip”. A number of Snark missiles were successfully recovered on the skid strip after completing their programmed flights.

Acting as a more traditional runway, the Cape Canaveral Skid Strip was used for the take-off and landing of Navaho X-10 winged missiles, which used traditional landing gear and could make powered take-offs, flights and landings. The skid strip was also used as a runway for traditional aircraft, and is currently active for take-offs and landings. The runway is 10,000 feet long by 200 feet wide and is still referred to as the Cape Canaveral Skid Strip, in honor of its historic role in the history of Cape Canaveral.