Calling all Florida residents... regarding a Shuttle launch

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by tombarnes, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. tombarnes macrumors 6502

    tombarnes

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Location:
    Cornwall, United Kingdom
    #1
    Hello all!

    I'm in the process of organising a trip to Florida. The main reason for the trip is to watch the Space Shuttle launch on the 29th July 2010.

    It is something I have always wanted to do, and as they will be winding down the shuttle program at the end of this year I decided that 2010 is the year to fulfil my ambition.

    I want any tips from anyone who has seen a launch before to ensure I get the most on the launch day.

    Where is the best place to watch from?
    How much will a ticket be?
    How long shall I leave to get there from Kissimmee on launch day (traffic issues?)?
    Booking info.

    etc etc.

    I have checked out the Kennedy website and it looks like the best viewing location is on the causeway ($56 for a ticket). I don't mind spending a bit of money to get a decent view.

    I am sure there are some of you out there who have been to numerous launches. I would like some local knowledge to help me watch the shuttle launch in the best possible way.

    Thanks in advance!

    Tom
     
  2. sanPietro98 macrumors 6502a

    sanPietro98

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Location:
    28.416834,-81.581214
    #2
    First, expect a 75% chance that the shuttle will NOT launch that day. So if you have flexibility in your schedule, use it. There are many reasons why they push back a launch. I went down to the Cape many times only to return with no launch -- or one that was delayed many hours. That's why I never bought the causeway tickets. Watching from Cocoa Beach is free and you can still see the launch complex with the naked eye (better with binoculars). But the causeway will be a slightly better view.

    You can use Google Maps to find a good spot in the town of Cocoa Beach just across the water from both launch complexes.

    Traffic will be heavy -- especially now that they're retiring the shuttle. I used to get there several hours ahead of the launch.

    It's a great experience -- especially at night!
     
  3. sanPietro98 macrumors 6502a

    sanPietro98

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Location:
    28.416834,-81.581214
    #3
    Also, make sure you bring along a radio to keep tabs on the launch sequence. They broadcast the control dialogue so you get a better idea of what's happening. When they get down to T-0:9:00, they call it the "nine minute hold" where they do many systems checks. So you can be waiting at T-9 minutes for hours! The radio helps to keep you from getting too frustrated as to why it's not launching yet.

    (Sorry. I can't remember the exact radio station. I moved out of Florida several years ago and I just can't remember. But a quick web search will probably find it.)
     
  4. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #4
    Titusville is the best place to see a Space Shuttle launch if you haven't got a NASA pass. Space View Park in Titusville is located two blocks south of State Route 406 (Garden Street - Exit 219 from Interstate 95), at Broad St and the Indian River. Adjacent Veteran's Memorial Park usually has a loud speaker with NASA's audio commentary.

    Again, launches are often delayed. Get there EARLY fo good vieing. Expect to be caught in traffic after launch for hours.
     
  5. sanPietro98 macrumors 6502a

    sanPietro98

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Location:
    28.416834,-81.581214
    #5
    Agreed. Now that you mention it, I did go to Titusville for a few launches. They do have some really nice views there. In fact, I believe that was where I saw my first Manatee (while waiting for a night launch).
     
  6. tombarnes thread starter macrumors 6502

    tombarnes

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Location:
    Cornwall, United Kingdom
    #6
    Thanks for the replies guys, Space Park at Titusville looks like a good place to watch from. Is it likely to be easier getting to Titusville rather than Kennedy itself (traffic)?

    Also, where is the picture below? It's the place we usually see on the TV. I am guessing it's a press only area.

    Cheers,

    Tom
     

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  7. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #7
    This is a viewing area within KSC. Would need to have KSC admission. Again, expect significant traffic in and out of the entire Space Coast area.

    Here's what you can expect from Spaceview Park:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-PEJcOpt6E
     
  8. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Ask Apple
    #8
    Titusville or Merritt Island. If not T-ville, Kars Park on North-ish MI might be a good, out of the way place, to watch. I'm from the middle of Merritt Island and we would sometimes go to Kars to watch launches.

    http://nasaexchange.ksc.nasa.gov/kars/

    If you go to Titusville, try out Miracle City Mall, its the best mall in Florida. ;)
     
  9. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #9
    Snort! :D
     
  10. tombarnes thread starter macrumors 6502

    tombarnes

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Location:
    Cornwall, United Kingdom
    #10
    Haha, I take it I should avoid the Miracle City Mall then?!

    Thanks for the replies folks. I'll probably be watching from the Space Park in Titusville.

    Any further advice is welcome.

    Tom
     

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