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  Viewing the last of the space shuttle launches (Page 4)

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Author Topic:   Viewing the last of the space shuttle launches
Philip
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From: Brussels, Belgium
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posted 04-23-2010 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rob Joyner:
...they've 'heard' general public causeway tickets will not be available for the last shuttle launch
No worries, a shuttle launch even looks spectacular from Disney World in Orlando some 50 kilometers away...

geekygirlau
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posted 04-26-2010 04:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for geekygirlau   Click Here to Email geekygirlau     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was lucky enough to get to see the launch of STS-131 from the Turn Basin Viewing area thanks to some great people. We came in from the Merrit Island end and traffic was nowhere to be seen at 4am.

Couldn't get accommodation in Titusville for the Sunday night (Friday and Saturday were no worries) and traffic wasn't too bad coming back...until we hit Titusville!

Ended up doing the all nighter in Denny's at Titusville

I am planning to come to see the last and was already working with watching from Titusville along A1A somewhere, traffic and numbers did not seem to be as bad along there as I would have expected for the 4th last launch, although I am expecting the place to be a LOT different in September. Also quite happy to hang out in Orlando if need be.

The only thing that is on my mind about a September launch is the weather!
My b/f living in Cape Coral tells me thats one of the worst months for bad weather in FL and I am wondering (STS-134 and 132 potential delays not with standing of course) about what the place is going to be like if there is a scrub?

I have a lot to plan between now and the FRR for STS-133 (like flights from Australia again) so am most pleased to have found this extra lot of information!

KSCartist
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posted 04-26-2010 05:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome to cS!

The problem with September is it is smack in the middle of hurricane season. In 2004 we had four hurricanes in September.

We have been lucky over the past few years with mild weather. So with the end of the program and the crowds that will want to witness the final launch it would be just our luck to have a storm to mess everything up.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-26-2010 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As noted under STS-133/134: The last space shuttle mission, STS-133, still planned for September, will now fly before STS-134, now targeted for November.

jdcupp
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posted 04-26-2010 04:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jdcupp   Click Here to Email jdcupp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Darn! I've come close, but never actually seen a launch, and I was counting on the July 29th date! My plans are now shot unless something else happens. I will now withdraw to my quiet place and wallow in regret over 30 years of missed opportunities.

Fezman92
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posted 04-26-2010 04:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Almost the same story here. I requested VIP tickets from my local rep's office a few month's ago. I am going to his local office tomorrow for something else but I am going to ask about the tickets. I really hope I can still get them.

AstroAutos
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posted 04-26-2010 04:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jdcupp:
Darn! I've come close, but never actually seen a launch, and I was counting on the July 29th date!
Same..

Our family have booked a trip to Florida around the July 29th launch date,but now I will never get to view a shuttle launch so I'm so disappointed!

stsmithva
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From: Centreville, VA, USA
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posted 04-27-2010 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yesterday afternoon my wife and I were at our local AAA office, working with them to book a Disney World vacation with our son from July 27-August 1. The timing, of course, was to allow for viewing of the shuttle launch.

This morning I learned about the six-week pushback. I am disappointed, but had I meant it when I told my wife that the launch would be just a bonus to our trip - there was just no guarantee that even with the extra two days built in, the launch wouldn't be delayed enough that we'd miss it. (Boy, was I right on that one.)

So it looks like I won't ever see a shuttle launch. Well, they've been going up since I was nine - I should have gotten down there sooner. I hope those who do see a 2010 shuttle launch have a great time!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-28-2010 02:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Motherboard.tv's Alex Pasternack filmed a documentary during the days leading up to the STS-130 launch about viewing a space shuttle launch: Space Shuttle Parking Lot: A Documentary About Humanity's Greatest Spectacle.

As it primarily focuses on the fans coming to see a launch, it gives a good sense about the experience from the causeway, from Titusville, from the press site and the VIP site at Banana Creek.

capoetc
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posted 04-28-2010 10:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for posting that film, Robert. I'm sure I never would have found it myself. I thought it was well-done, and lacked any obvious bias one way or the other. Definitely worth a watch!

Neil Aldrin
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posted 04-29-2010 05:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Neil Aldrin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting film. Thanks.

I saw that one guy listening to the NASA weather aircraft reporting on conditions at the cape. I want to take my scanner with me. Does anyone know those frequencies and/or the best ones to monitor?

Jay Chladek
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posted 04-29-2010 12:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That was a very good documentary in my opinion. It sums up the type of crowd one tends to see at a space launch rather nicely. Only thing we didn't see were the crowds on the causeway, but they probably would have been about the same as those in Titusville and on the beach. Only difference being is no cars present on the causeway, just buses.

It was nice for Jay Barbree to let them take a peak inside the NBC building at the press site. After getting a chance to meet him three times and see how driven he is during these last few launches, my respect for the man has certainly grown.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-29-2010 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
Only difference being is no cars present on the causeway, just buses.
I'm sure you know this Jay, but for the benefit of others, NASA and contractor employees can drive their cars onto the causeway, packed with friends and family, if they obtain a causeway car pass.

Fezman92
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posted 05-02-2010 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was looking at the Kennedy Space Center website and they say that STS-134 is tentatively going to launch between November 10 and November 20th. I hope it launches a few days after the 10th because my family and I plan on going to see the Roger Waters' The Wall Live concert on the 8th or 9th and Florida is at least a two-day drive which we are most likely going to do.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-02-2010 03:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mid-November is for planning purposes only. Endeavour cannot launch before Nov. 26 (per NASA) at the earliest due to a beta angle cutout (increased heating period) for the space station.

Fezman92
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posted 05-02-2010 04:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for that info, you just made me very happy.

Flying Dutchman
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From: Nieuw Vennep
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posted 05-03-2010 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Flying Dutchman   Click Here to Email Flying Dutchman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do just have now simple question. I am Andre from The Netherlands and I would love to visit a Shuttle launch. I know I have to really hurry up, but... as I do not have a drivers license and car (no I do not have), I just have to rely on other means of transport.

If I fly, I like to fly to Orlando International Airport. I think of staying a week or so at the airport and travel to KSC by public transport, any of you guys have any info or experience on this?

Neil Aldrin
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posted 05-03-2010 05:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Neil Aldrin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Andre, because Port Canaveral (cruise ships) is very close to KSC you will have no problem finding a shuttle company to take you from the Orlando airport area to the Canaveral area.

My suggestion to you would be to plan on staying in a town like Titusville (and book your hotel far in advance) where you would be close to KSC. If you had tickets for the launch you could take a taxi to KSC and if you did not have tickets you could still get a pretty decent view at no charge from there.

If the launch gets delayed a day or two at least you are in the area and not paying to go back and forth from Orlando to KSC daily. If the launch goes off on time and you want to see some stuff near Orlando, take a shuttle back and get a hotel room near the airport until your return flight.

Rob Joyner
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posted 05-03-2010 08:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Andre, for the September launch your best bet might be to purchase a launch viewing package from Gray Line in Orlando. They'll bus you to the KSC Visitor Complex, the causeway and then back to Orlando right after the launch. If you go this route you will not need a car at all outside of Orlando. Be sure to get the package that includes the Launch Transportation Ticket (LTT). It's $115, but it gets you only six miles from the launch pad.

Keep in mind that if you get your ticket through KSC you will need the supplied car placard for your car's windshield, (or someone else's) in order to get through KSC security.

Flying Dutchman
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posted 05-04-2010 02:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Flying Dutchman   Click Here to Email Flying Dutchman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many thanks for the good help!

Tykeanaut
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posted 05-04-2010 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And don't stay in the Budget Inn in Titusville (unless it's changed?). Man, it was 'the pits' in 2000!

Rob Joyner
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posted 05-04-2010 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's still a dump, and even looks worse today. There was a scrub a couple of years ago and I ended up having to stay there after trying to get a room at every other hotel I could find. A landfill with walls it was. They still had the nerve to charge premium rates, so I demanded they actually clean the bathroom with soap and change the dirty sheets with others that had actually been in a working washing machine. "Excuse me, but no, that's not my blood type either." So I made them change the sheets yet again. If the Budget Inn ever becomes your only option, then sleep in your car.

Go4Launch
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posted 05-04-2010 07:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Neil Aldrin:
I saw that one guy listening to the NASA weather aircraft reporting on conditions at the cape. I want to take my scanner with me. Does anyone know those frequencies and/or the best ones to monitor?
You can find NASA frequencies here.

Neil Aldrin
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posted 05-06-2010 05:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Neil Aldrin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the link! I'll be loading the freq's this weekend and looking forward to seeing Atlantis fly.

Philip
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posted 06-23-2010 06:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From a tourist's viewpoint: Hopefully the change request for STS-134 to February 2011 will get another rescheduling as Florida is better in Spring.

Neil Aldrin
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posted 06-23-2010 06:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Neil Aldrin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I saw the news here of the possible switch to STS-133 to Oct. 29th I looked at hotels in the Cocoa area. Some are already sold out?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-01-2010 04:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Coalition for Space Exploration release
Explore our Space and you could win tickets to view the launch of STS-133

Presenting the Explore Our Space contest! To celebrate the launch of the Coalition for Space Exploration's new website, we've created a fun and interactive way for site visitors to win some exciting prizes, including a chance to watch one of the final space shuttle launches from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. While "Exploring Our Space" visitors will experience the new dynamic features we've added to the site designed to increase the public's knowledge about space exploration.

We're posing five questions to complete in order to be entered to win the prizes. The answers to these questions are found on the Web site.

The contest runs throughout the month of July, and we will draw for winners on Aug. 2. Each winner will be notified immediately by e-mail.

The grand prize is four tickets to view the STS-133 launch, the last mission of shuttle Discovery, which is currently scheduled for Nov. 1, 2010. The tickets include entry to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and access to the closest public viewing area to the launch pad. The tickets do not include travel or expenses related to traveling to Florida to view the launch.

We will also be giving away 10 pairs of IMAX movie tickets, redeemable at an IMAX Theater of the winner's choice.

In addition, everyone who answers the questions can download an Exploration Digital Prize Package, which includes cool space-themed icons and wallpaper to customize their computer background.

ringo67
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posted 07-04-2010 12:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ringo67   Click Here to Email ringo67     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With the news this week of the delay of the last (planned) space shuttle until February, I'm giving serious thought about going down to see/cover it. A lot will have to fall into place for it to happen, but it would be cool if I can do it.

Also, I wanted to offer belated thanks to Robert and Jay and everyone who helped me with the trip down in April for the STS-131 launch. Knowing what to expect made the trip a lot smoother.

Jay Chladek
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posted 07-04-2010 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You are most welcome. Were you able to make it? I recall you had a bit of a flooding problem the week before the trip.

As for me, I am tempted as well. It will be the flight of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, the last major US component of the station (a Russian mini lab is scheduled to fly in 2012), so it will have some relevence to the ISS other then just being a supply flight. I know it is going to be a zoo down there though.

One thing that helps is Speedweeks in Daytona wraps up the week before on Feb, 20. So that will free up SOME hotel space. Of course, if the launch were pushed into late Marzch, Bike Week in Daytona might cause some lodging issues.

Fezman92
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posted 07-04-2010 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm still planning on going to 134 provided that my request I made to my Congressman is still good. I contacted them after the first launch change to make sure and they said that my request still should be honored. On Friday I contacted them again, letting them know about the change and double checking on my request. Will hear back from them this week I assume. We should all try to meet up if we go.

ringo67
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From: Seekonk, Mass., USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 07-06-2010 12:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ringo67   Click Here to Email ringo67     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
You are most welcome. Were you able to make it? I recall you had a bit of a flooding problem the week before the trip.

Oh yeah, I made it, and the launch was spectacular. I can only imagine what one looks like in daylight. The flooding was a mess and took a little bit of the luster off of the trip for me.

You're right, the final launch will be crazy, but if Atlantis gets another go, that will take the edge off the crowds. I wouldn't mind going to the preceding launch, but I'll need to save up for that trip.

Of course, if I had enough cash, I would come down for Speedweeks, cover the 500 and then head south to do the launch. Don't think I'd be able to expense a full week in Florida for the paper, though. Maybe 10-15 years ago, but not now.

ringo67
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From: Seekonk, Mass., USA
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posted 07-15-2010 04:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ringo67   Click Here to Email ringo67     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
AP is reporting this afternoon that a Senate committee has approved the additional flight for Atlantis in 2011 and is directing NASA to send astronauts to "an asteroid and other deep space destinations."

Sounds like good news all around, but especially for people who want to see one of the last shuttle launches.

Rob Joyner
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posted 07-16-2010 05:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I contacted the Coalition for Space Exploration regarding their contest and was told the vague description "the closest public viewing area to the launch pad" means either the NASA Causeway or the Banana Creek site. They don't know which venue will be used as that decision has yet to be made.

tegwilym
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posted 07-21-2010 05:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder how early we need to reserve a place to stay for one of the last flights? I ended up in Melbourne for STS-130.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-01-2010 09:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-134's target launch date has slipped a day to accommodate ESA's ATV-2:
NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) on Friday agreed to update the International Space Station launch schedule. The target launch dates for the last planned space shuttle flight, STS-134 on Endeavour, will be Feb. 27 and the Automated Transfer Vehicle-2 (ATV-2) will be Feb. 15...

Fezman92
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posted 10-01-2010 02:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's not too much of a date change, which is good.


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