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Shuttle launch? - Phil's Rambling Rants — LiveJournal
July 13th, 2005
02:35 pm

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Shuttle launch?
I just realized that if the Shuttle launch gets delayed long enough, I might actually be in Florida at the time.

If one were to decide to go watch it at the last minute, what obstacles would one run into?  Do you have to get tickets or sign up in advance or something to get close enough to actually see the Shuttle on the ground?  How bad are the crowds and traffic likely to be?  Does it cost a lot of money?  I believe in the space program, but it's been decades since I had any noticeable space bug myself.  How much would I have to suffer to see it?

On a related note, does anyone know how much I'd have to suffer to visit Kennedy Space Center if the Shuttle is safely in orbit?  Whether it would be worth visiting depends on how much you can actually see on a "random tourist just walked in" tour and how bad the crowds are.

So -- does anyone have personal experience on these issues?

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From:bammba_m
Date:July 13th, 2005 08:52 pm (UTC)
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Watching a shuttle launch is free.

i think you need to be an astronaut or related to one or somehow connected to the space program, or otherwise really important to be actually at the "viewing center" at Kennedy. (The safest viewing distance is at least a mile and a half from the pad... meaning that the only way possible to see the billowing steam of the launching pad is to watch on tv.)

But they are viewable just fine from as far inland as Orlando (i saw one from the parking lot of my apartment in Winter Springs). The best view i got was when we drove down to Cocoa Beach for one. And i've never experienced a problem with crowds at Cocoa. If you do go to the beach, bring what you want for beach sitting (a chair, towel, wear sandals, a radio to keep updated on the countdown, etc). And watch northward, slightly inland.

Otherwise, the launches are viewable from pert' near everywhere.

If you do go to Kennedy, regardless of launch schedules, i *highly* recommend taking their tour.
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From:beamjockey
Date:July 14th, 2005 12:32 am (UTC)
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Google knows everything, but you need to know how to ask. What you need is the Unofficial Space Shuttle Launch Guide.

I'll also hunt up my account of a launch I saw in 1991. Might be a clue or two in there.
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