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Old 01-11-2011, 10:54 PM   #1
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Space shuttle launch in FL

i heard that there is to be a space shuttle launch april 1 and then one more and then no more launches. has anyone been to the launches? where did you camp and where did you go to see the launch? any comments that would help us as we are not familiar with that area of florida.
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:23 AM   #2
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April 1st will be the LAST launch ever... If you wanna see it, better go.

NASA - NASA's Shuttle and Rocket Launch Schedule


Here's the sites to watch... one of the places is Jetty Park that has camping.. hurry to get a spot though: NASA - Primary Launch Viewing Locations

http://www.portcanaveral.com/recreation/beaches.php
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:19 AM   #3
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Faye,

You want to be at least as close as Titusville on the Indian River. That is your best bet. You should be able to park your toad somewhere along US-1 and find a place to stand near the river. We saw our first launch from New Smyma Beach and could feel it from there, but I felt we should have gotten closer. One comment on that date, it was been getting put back on a regular basis so the actual launch could be in summer sometime. It was just pushed back from Feb 3rd, which was pushed back from ... They are having problems with the big fuel tank, its on the news just about everyday here.

Bob

PS no shortage of RV sites in FL at that time of year. Jetty Park in Port Canaveral is ok and a good place to visit the Cocoa Beach area from.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:58 AM   #4
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Discovery launch could be as early as Feb 24th according to NASA site.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bob and Inga View Post
You want to be at least as close as Titusville on the Indian River. That is your best bet. You should be able to park your toad somewhere along US-1 and find a place to stand near the river. We saw our first launch from New Smyma Beach and could feel it from there, but I felt we should have gotten closer.
Sometimes it is better to be some distance away from the launch. Two years ago a friend was "lucky" and got seats at the VIP visitor stands about a mile from the shuttle. They got a great view of the rockets lighting up and then NOTHING..... The wind blew the exhaust smoke between the VIP stands and the Shuttle completely blocking the view. Others viewing from across the river in Titusville, had a great view of the Shuttle all the way up.

Personally, we usually watch from the beach at Cocoa Beach or Patrick AFB.

This website by the local Melbourne paper details all the rocket and shuttle launches. Note that the launch time of the Feb 24th date is 4:50 pm. The launch on April 1st is going to be for the night owls; 3:15 AM.... In between these are a variety to rocket launches.

There is a third Shuttle launch tentatively scheduled for June 28th. This launch has been authorized by Congress, but is waiting for funding to be approved.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:17 AM   #6
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All great advice. Seeing a launch was on my bucket list and we were there for STS131 last April and loved it.

We stayed at The Great Outdoors in Titusville... a great spot. We were going to take the advice from the forum but then thought we got lucky when we met some folks at the park who had extra NASA tickets to view it from the Visitor's Center. We had to carpool with them and had to arrive at 1:30am for a 6:20 launch. All of the exhibits at the Visitors Center were open and there was an astronaut on stage educating us and a big screen showing preparations underway. But, we couldn't see the launch pad from the VC due to trees. Only after the lit the thing off could we see anything.
IMHO it would have been much better to be almost anywhere else as the launch pad is very visible from almost anywhere in Coca Beach.

I don't know how adventurous you are but one option we considered was to watch the launch from kayaks. There's an outfit there that will take guided tours for launches and take you as close to the pad as they can. This was very attractive to us except for the part about it being in the dark.

Whatever you decide, just make sure you are there!

Good Luck

Rick
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:10 PM   #7
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:49 PM   #8
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There is a county campground called Manatee Hammock across from the launch sight. It is just off A1A and it is perfect to watch launches. We sat there and watched a nite launch and it was un believable. It is on the Indian River I think.
Call for reservations cause it fills up fast on a launch date.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:10 PM   #9
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We were at Ft. Wilderness a year ago last May/April, drove over to Titusville, made it 15 minutes to spare. Stood in the water to watch the launch. What a great experience.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:06 PM   #10
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We saw a night launch on November 2008 from about 30 miles away. Easy to track at night.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Midniteoyl View Post
April 1st will be the LAST launch ever... If you wanna see it, better go.

NASA - NASA's Shuttle and Rocket Launch Schedule


Here's the sites to watch... one of the places is Jetty Park that has camping.. hurry to get a spot though: NASA - Primary Launch Viewing Locations

Port Canaveral
we would be going south from ga., how do we get to this jetty park and what is the traffic like in that area, particilularly getting to this park. we are still new to motorhome and have to be careful in where we stay and go until hubby get more experienced. also thanks for the info from everyone...i'd really like to see a launch.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:12 AM   #12
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Faye,

Check jettypark.org and or rvparkreviews.com under Cape Canaveral for more info, it is right down where the cruise ships come and go, there is a gambling ship that goes out a couple of times a day if you are into that sort of thing. FL 528 from I-95 takes you right down to the Port area. I would still head to Titusville and the Indian River to see the launch though. We saw one from one of the gin mills in the Port area a year ago November and it was not the same as from closer in. As others mentioned, close but not too close.

This was on CNN.com yesterday:

Sidelined shuttle flight may be launched in February - CNN.com

Bob
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:03 PM   #13
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Jetty park.. Port Canaveral
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:43 PM   #14
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Jetty park.. Port Canaveral
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