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(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Just on the edge of the Everglades is a place known as Known as the Aerojet-Dade Rocket Facility, which once manufactured rockets and missiles for the military. There’s a lot of sites perfect for Florida Urban Exploration, but this one’s a true gem. According to OnlyInFlorida, “Aerojet Dade is an abandoned rocket testing and manufacturing facility located right on the edge of the Florida Everglades. The way this facility came to be was in 1963 when Aerojet General was given a contract from the U.S. Air Force for $3 million dollars to build a rocket manufacturing and test site. This facility aimed to build and test rockets that would send astronauts to the moon.”

Underneath a shed is a 150foot deep silo that contained the solid rocket fuel motor. In 1986 NASA awarded the Space Shuttle booster rocket contract to a competitor and the facility was closed. Exploring sites like this is dangerous, and usually illegal. We recommend you watch the video of others doing it for you:

And that’s not the only interesting relic in the area. A short 14 mile drive away…

HM69 Nike Missile Base, Research Road, Homestead, FL 33034

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…. is the abandoned HM69 Nike Missile Base. This place is significant because during the Cold War it actually housed nuclear warheads that were ready to be launched if needed. Yep, Nuclear missiles were ready to go just a few miles down the road from us. What makes this place different from other abandoned military sites is that the Parks Service gives guided tours. Click this link for instructions and pack the kids to go see an actual Cold War missile and support buildings that I imagine were incredibly active during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I wasn’t born yet, so I can only imagine how insane things were in South Florida during those times. Those Russian nuclear missiles were only about 200 miles away from Naples. If those Cuban missiles were launched towards 5th Ave. South, it probably would’ve been the warheads at this base to retaliate.

Here’s some pictures of the Mike Missile Base taken in 2010:

Florida Urban Exploration

Florida Urban Exploration

Florida Urban Exploration

Florida Urban Exploration

Florida Urban Exploration

Florida Urban Exploration

Florida Urban Exploration

Florida Urban Exploration

Florida Urban Exploration

 

Joe Winner spends his days combing through memes and off beat stories to bring you the side of Florida not always seen.