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P3PPY
P3PPY SuperDork
1/31/24 11:20 p.m.

I'm going to the GRM motherland in late Feb and I wanna see a ROCKET!!

Theres supposed to be a Falcon 9 taking off on Feb22 at 3 a.m. but P3PPY will not be paying $250 to be on-site for that. Any suggestions on where else to go to get the best less expensive view? Anyone else want to meet up at 3 a.m., while we're at it?

brandonsmash
brandonsmash Reader
1/31/24 11:42 p.m.

Cocoa Beach is a popular place to view launches. If you're out that way, definitely check out Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center: Make sure to take the bus to the Saturn V building, too. It can be easy to miss that part of the trip but it's absolutely worthwhile.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
1/31/24 11:58 p.m.

What he said.    If you want to see THE rocket.

SangakaraMoory
SangakaraMoory New Reader
2/1/24 5:43 a.m.

Yes, there are a few places where you can watch a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral without having to pay a fee. Here are a few suggestions:

Playalinda Beach: This is a public beach that is located about 10 miles from the Kennedy Space Center. It is a great place to watch rocket launches because it is located on the coast and has a clear view of the launch pad.

 

Jetty Park Beach: This is another public beach that is located about 5 miles from the Kennedy Space Center. It is a good option for people who want to be closer to the launch pad, but it can get crowded.

Patrick Space Force Base Beach: This is a military base beach that is located about 10 miles from the Kennedy Space Center. It is a good option for people who want to be close to the launch pad and don't mind walking a few miles.

  • Titusville Causeway: This is a bridge that spans the Indian River Lagoon and offers a great view of the launch pad. It is a good option for people who want to be a little closer to the action, but it can be difficult to see the launch if there are clouds in the sky.

In addition to these public locations, there are also a few commercial businesses that offer rocket viewing tours. These tours typically cost $25 to $50 per person, but they offer a guaranteed view of the launch.

I hope this helps!

RonnieFnD
RonnieFnD Reader
2/1/24 6:13 a.m.

I cam see em from here in Tampa lol.

adam525i
adam525i SuperDork
2/1/24 8:13 a.m.

I was lucky enough as a Canadian down in Florida for a week to see Endeavour launch on its second last flight (STS-130), the Falcon 9 won't put on the same show (but improved with the sonic booms and landing burns) but it's definitely worth staying up for the night to see on a beach somewhere nearby. The Falcon 9 should be more likely to go on schedule as well, we planned our trip around a launch the year before and two weeks out it was pushed back and went up the following week.

Enjoy the show!

Duke
Duke MegaDork
2/1/24 8:35 a.m.

Was that... a genuinely helpful precanoe?

 

Almost anywhere in Cocoa or Titusville you will see the launch.  Last Sunday evening we watched one from the driveway of the airbnb we were staying at.   

Another good viewing site is any restaurant deck at Port Canaveral.

Many in those towns have apps on their phones with constant updates of the schedule.  Many launches get delayed by as much as 3 hours, but with the app you can stay informed and plan accordingly.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/1/24 6:42 p.m.
Duke said:

Was that... a genuinely helpful precanoe?

 

I know, right?

Yeah, we watch them from out front, and we’re an hour north of the Space Center. Good view. If we want to get fancy, we’ll go down to the beach, the nearby ball fields, the top of the Granda Bridge or along the intercoastal.

Some good spots a little closer to the Cape:

Space View Park in Titusville. We watched the Dragon escape demonstration from there. Very, very cool. They had a crowd that day–not bad at all–but it was also a weekend morning and kinda special. 

Biolab Boat Ramp. There’s a parking lot there.

The 3:00 a.m. launches are the most challenging: Stay up late or wake up early? I usually stay up but tend to stay close to home for those. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/1/24 6:44 p.m.

I’d still like to watch a launch from Apollo Beach just for something different. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/1/24 6:50 p.m.

Something else to consider: What’s the rocket’s trajectory? 

If it’s on a northbound route, we get a nice show here in Ormond–including a good view of the boosters returning to earth. If it’s southbound, less of a show. 

You can find that info at Flight Club

For up-to-date launch info, we follow Space Launch Schedule

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
2/1/24 8:12 p.m.

Indelible memory  of watching the shuttle take off in 1990. Watched from Cocoa Beach sitting in my new Miata with my new girlfriend. Still got the girlfriend.

 

The launch was impressive to say the least.

 

I cant imagine what riding in what is basically a beer can, atop that insane column of flame, would feel like. 

 

Are the rockets as spectacular to watch?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/1/24 8:19 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

They’re all cool, but the Heavys put on a special show. 

The last Heavy was really cool. The sun had just set, and it arced right over me. Then I got to watch the boosters descend. 

madmrak351
madmrak351 HalfDork
2/1/24 9:34 p.m.

I like them all, but as David said the heavys are definitely more spectacular. There is one planned for April. Reentrys are very cool to watch also. They generally use the Gulf or the Atlantic off the coast of Jacksonville.

adam525i
adam525i SuperDork
2/1/24 10:35 p.m.

Just looked up your launch on February 22, it's NASA-SpaceX Crew-8 mission so there will be people aboard heading to the ISS for 6 months, that is pretty cool! Better than a bunch of starlink satellites. It will be a brand new booster too so nice and clean, I have a feeling the booster lands offshore for these launches though instead of at the cape.

With that though I'm guessing they'll have tighter parameters for go/no go so hopefully it does not get delayed.

https://www.space.com/spacex-nasa-crew-8-launch-february-22

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/2/24 10:28 a.m.

And, of course, clouds can come into play.

FWIW, we’ve watched some good launches under skies that looked cloudy and lost sight of launches when the sky seemed clear. 

iansane
iansane Dork
2/2/24 11:17 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Something else to consider: What’s the rocket’s trajectory? 

If it’s on a northbound route, we get a nice show here in Ormond–including a good view of the boosters returning to earth. If it’s southbound, less of a show. 

You can find that info at Flight Club

For up-to-date launch info, we follow Space Launch Schedule

That's some cool info. I'm going to be in Ormond in a week or so but I'm leaving before any of the cool stuff launches. Damn.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/2/24 12:07 p.m.

In reply to iansane :

Bummer. The top of the Granada Bridge offers a good view, especially if the rocket is on the northern route and the booster return to the Space Center. The reflections off the water at night are just amazing. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/2/24 12:09 p.m.

In reply to iansane :

Do the February 6 and 14 launches mesh with your visit? And if not, maybe one gets bumped back to coincide. 

P3PPY
P3PPY SuperDork
2/17/24 10:21 p.m.

The time is rapidly approaching and I'm looking at the details again. Man, I'm looking at the trajectory visualization (so cool!!) and I've been to Jetty Park at night before -- I'm getting emotional just visualizing it! I'm gonna be a wreck watching this live and in person. 
Thanks for all the tips

 

Regarding the Titusville Causeway (Aka the NASA Causeway?): I would LOVE to be able to see the launchpad, to see the launch from the start, but are you able to just park or walk along the bridge or what?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/19/24 1:30 p.m.

You know, I have never watched a launch from the causeway. Guess just been too afraid of the potential traffic.

I assume we’re talking about the launch scheduled for February 20, right? 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/19/24 1:33 p.m.

Flight trajectory for the rest of the class:

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/19/24 5:59 p.m.

Got an e-mail today about viewing from the Space Center. Details here

P3PPY
P3PPY SuperDork
2/19/24 6:18 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

You know, I have never watched a launch from the causeway. Guess just been too afraid of the potential traffic.

I assume we’re talking about the launch scheduled for February 20, right? 

I was looking at the one on the 22nd which has been postponed until Saturday the 24th now, time now TBD

HOWEVER! I am flying into Orlando during the window of the 20th's and MAN that would be SO cool to see it from the airliner! I'll be taking a driver's side seat for sure. (Or do they call it port on a plane?)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/20/24 11:49 a.m.

Several years back, a friend took her first plane flight ever, leaving Orlando.

Upon landing, she sent me a photo: She had the perfect seat for the rocket launch. 

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