Cape Canaveral AFS Skid Strip is a military airport at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), 7 miles (11 km) northeast of Cocoa Beach, Florida. It has an asphalt paved runway designated 13/31 and measuring 10,000 x 200 ft. (3,048 x 61 m). The facility is owned by the United States Air Force (USAF).
Although most U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, Cape Canaveral AFS Skid Strip is assigned XMR by the FAA, but has no designation from the IATA.
The runway was first called the Skid Strip because SM-62 Snark cruise missiles (which lacked wheels) returning from test flights were supposed to skid to a halt on it.
CAPE CANAVERAL AFS SKID STRIP HISTORY
In the 1960s the Douglas C-133 Cargomaster was a frequent visitor, carrying modified Atlas and Titan missiles, used as launch vehicles for manned and unmanned space programs leading to the Apollo Moon landings. The Skid Strip was used by NASA’s Pregnant Guppy and Super Guppy transport aircraft carrying the S-IVB upper stage for the Saturn IB and Saturn V rockets used in Project Apollo.
Today, it is predominantly used by USAF C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III and C-5 Galaxy aircraft transporting satellite payloads to CCAFS for mating with launch vehicles.
The CCAFS Skid Strip is sometimes confused with the NASA Shuttle Landing Facility, but that runway, specially constructed for the Space Shuttle, is located on Merritt Island at the adjacent John F. Kennedy Space Center.
CAPE CANAVERAL AFS SKID STRIP LOCATION
CAPE CANAVERAL AFS SKID STRIP FACTS
Elevation: 10 ft.
Runway length available: 13/31 10000×200 ft.