Space Coast celebrates '321' area code anniversary

By Jerry Hume, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, November 01, 2014, 8:39 PM EDT

Destination Space and it's a big anniversary for the Space Coast Saturday.

It's been 15 years now since the 3-2-1 area code was introduced to Brevard County, and how it's just another reminder of why they call it the Space Coast.

Have you ever noticed when you call someone on the Space Coast, the first three numbers are 3-2-1? Well, that is no coincidence.

It's repeated during every launch; the countdown to a magnificent sight. A tradition that goes back to the early days of the space program.

So when Robert 'Ozzie' Osband heard that the Florida Public Service Commission wanted to split the Central Florida 407 area code, he looked through the list of available numbers.

"All of a sudden I hear the number 321, hmm, why does that sound familiar? Oh, of course, the countdowns. And I live in the countdown capital of the world, hey, I think I know what area code I want to have around here," said Osband.

After all this is the place that counted down, 3-2-1, to historic missions to the Moon and beyond.

"The countdown is certainly what we do here," said George Diller, NASA Public Affairs.

So during a Public Service Commission hearing, Osband suggested the change. And what do you know? They loved the idea.

"The one commissioner said they love to have this kind of sugar  coating for the fact that people have to change their area code," said Osband.

And starting November 1, 1999, Brevard County adopted the new area code and 321 started popping up everywhere.

Osband, a space enthusiast, made sure he got a good number where people can contact him about upcoming launches.

"I did save the best phone number for myself, you see if you want to reach my cell phone, all you have to do is dial 321-LIFTOFF," said Osband.

There may be other places where they launch rockets, but as long as we keep the 321 area code, will still be the countdown capital of the world.