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T O P I C R E V I E WBen WatsonI am planning to watch the launch from the beach in front of the Doubletree Hotel in Coco Beach (as I have a room there). This hotel is on the beach just north of the Hilton. It is my understanding that this stretch of beach is good for Delta and Atlas launches, but not necessarily for shuttle lauches. Can anyone tell me if a shuttle launch is at least visible from this area? I presume that it is.Also, I notice that KSC tickets to the launch will be available soon on its web-site. According to what I read, the tickets get you into a viewing area about 6 miles from the pad. Does anyone know where this area is? Is it near the press viewing area adjacent to the VAB?John K. Rochester..I may be mistaken, but I think the VAB site is 3 miles..TomBen:The press site (not far from the VAB) is roughly 3 to 3.5 miles from Complex 39 A and B.The passes that are available will put you about 6 miles south of the 2 pads (unobstructed view) on the NASA Causeway.If you are viewing from Cocoa Beach, you will see the shuttle just after lift off, but not while it's on the pad.If you want to see the shuttle while its on the pad (without a pass), you're better off going to Port Canaveral, just outside Gate 1 CCAFS, or in Titusville, along the river on US 1.Rob JoynerBen,Tom is correct. The closest you can observe a shuttle launch as a member of the public is on the causeway between the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and the Cape Canaveral Air Force area spanning the Banana River. The next launch will take place on Pad B, which is about a mile and a half north of Pad A. That means you'll be approximately 7 1/2 miles or so from the launch pad. My distance figures are appoximate and not definite.If you were attending a 'regular launch', you'd save yourself a little walking time by taking a bus later in the boarding process. Once you get on the causeway and face the launch pads there are a few shrubberies and small trees in the foreground and distance that will hinder your view to the left, (west). But since this is our second 'Return to Space' shuttle launch, I expect it to be very crowded. You may want to go a bit earlier than that to get a good viewing area secured.Due to my flexiblity to attend launches I have attended a few alone because others couldn't get off from work. I also like to take photos and/or video of the launches. If this is your case take a towel or blanket with you and lay it on the ground at the perimeter rope. That will allow you to 'claim' your viewing area as your own. Sometimes when the countdown gets to T minus 30 seconds you wouldn't believe the amount of onlookers who want to get that few extra feet closer.The causeway is humped, which means the actual road of the causeway is elevated a little in the center. You may opt for standing those 20 yards or so back away from the crowd.If you do go alone, and don't have a camera and/or video camera, carry a few index cards with your name and email address or whatever contact info you choose. That way if you opt on taking video, you can ask others taking photos to send you copies of them as a swap for sending them the video or vice-versa.Last time, the launch-viewing ticket was an extra $16 on top of the admission fee. That $16 is non-refundable if the launch scrubs. If out of town, it's best to plan your arrival the day of the launch. If the launch is delayed you may still have a few days to see it go.And if you collect anything from the launches, (T-shirts, coins, mugs, etc.) and want to get something from the Space Store at the visitor complex then get them earlier in the day and put it in your car, if possible. Once your bus gets back to the KSCVC the store will be a madhouse!Though KSC provides a few small concession/souvenir trailers on the causeway, it seems they always have long lines. If you think you may want something to eat or drink, bring it with you to the causeway. There are also audio speakers at the causeway which allow you to hear everything NASA is saying.Hope this helps!RobP.S.There are also those wonderful Port-A-Potties there on the causeway... BenBen, do not watch from Cocoa Beach. It is unnecessary. You will be 20 miles away and won't see the pad (you'll be lucky to hear it when it launches).Buy a ticket for the causeway, by all means. It is a spectacular view. I was on the causeway yesterday. And if you don't, Titusville is the closest off-base viewing at 11 miles away.capejeffsWell, was just thinking, wonder if Ben of MS is here with a heavy business schedule, or maybe doesn't want the crowds & traffic. Hey most times, Ben of Daytona, we DO get the rumbling! We're under 2 miles up from the Doubletree, towards KSC, and we've had some beautiful launches here (even in the water swimming before work!). Some launches seeing the SRB's come off so clearly. But a compromise for one who doesn't want to drive too far is the bee-line causeway so you can see the pads (about 4 mi No. from Doubletree). There are souvenir sellers there too, some folks with KSC on radios. If you have to be more reserved & stay close to your hotel, at least you'll get some of the experience. There will be many on the beach watching as well. ON THE OTHER HAND, if at all possible, go for the very good above, Ben W !BenOh, I know you get the sound. They get it in Melbourne.But why watch from so far and in a place you cannot see it until it's high up, when you can get closer just as easily?Rob JoynerJust a related post. I read somewhere that the launch of the Saturn V rockets registered on seismograph equipment as far north as New York!
Also, I notice that KSC tickets to the launch will be available soon on its web-site. According to what I read, the tickets get you into a viewing area about 6 miles from the pad. Does anyone know where this area is? Is it near the press viewing area adjacent to the VAB?
P.S.There are also those wonderful Port-A-Potties there on the causeway...
Buy a ticket for the causeway, by all means. It is a spectacular view. I was on the causeway yesterday. And if you don't, Titusville is the closest off-base viewing at 11 miles away.
But why watch from so far and in a place you cannot see it until it's high up, when you can get closer just as easily?
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