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We are planning to road trip to Orlando at the end of October to view the Nov. 1 Space Shuttle Launch. Are there any fellow Odyclub members in Florida or elsewhere that can suggest the best viewing spot? I have three small kids, so food and restrooms nearby are a must. I have visited tons of general launch viewing websites, but I am hoping for help from someone who has done it firsthand. Also, how early would you suggest getting to one of these viewing spots?? The launch is at 4:40 pm. Thanks a million in advance. Any help will greatly relieve a lot of pressure on my planning end of this 2000 mile "odyssey." Excuse the pun...
 

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There is a viewing spot right inside Kennedy Space Center (where the famous count down digial clock is) but its not FREE. You have to pay the Kennedy space center admission fees (iirc $37 or $38 a person) and is non-refundable if the mission gets scrubbed.

That said, I have witnessed one launch earlier this year. My BIL lives in Rockledge, FL we we went to Titusville and were practically across the launch site with just water between us. It was a very early morning launch and we went about 30 minutes early to a boat launch ramp place and stood on a sort of a pier. There were tonnes of other folks. I think the launch we saw was the 3rd from the last and this one should be either the 2nd last or the last launch before the shuttle program is decomissioned.

Kennedy Space Center is worth a visit and includes free admission the next day so if you have time, you do not have to rush. Since we were visiting my BIL, we went to it 2 days.

Hope that helps till a local chimes in.
 

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Launch got scrubbed until Friday the 5th at 1504 hrs.
I wonder if the the OP still in FLA?

I'm planning on going tomorrow to see the launch.

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
We're no longer in FL. We waited all week through all the scrubs, but we finally had to leave today (Friday the 5th). For what it's worth, we learned that parking at Sand Point Park is reasonably close to Space View Park in Titusville and has a good playground for the kids and it's next to a Marina. We got there at a little before 0800 for the 1504 launch and parking was easy (second car there) and free, though people were already staking claims along the Indian River in Space View Park. Across the street, folks were charging $20. Locals said to plan on not moving for a couple hours after launch. Now that the launch is postponed to the end of November and that will be a night launch, I'm not sure if it will be any different. Doesn't matter to us, though. We're out of vacation time and money. Good luck to the rest of you! Btw, if you need a hotel, the Holiday Inn in Titusville is brand new and really nice, but the rates were elevated - $200. Unless you're a Priority Club member - we stayed one night for 15000 points.
 

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Great information for the guy that's is going to be here at the end of the month. i go back next week. Even though I knew the launch was scrubbed, I showed anyways and took some pictures.

Later, Pat
 

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dvpatel said:
There is a viewing spot right inside Kennedy Space Center (where the famous count down digial clock is) but its not FREE. You have to pay the Kennedy space center admission fees (iirc $37 or $38 a person) and is non-refundable if the mission gets scrubbed.

I was there last year and if I remember correctly the public is no longer allowed to be at the big countdown clock, just press ppl.
 

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motomann said:
I was there last year and if I remember correctly the public is no longer allowed to be at the big countdown clock, just press ppl.
I was there too. I distinctly remember the tour bus driver saying you can watch the launch from there. But I am not 100% positive. Besides, the answer now is moot any way. :)
 

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dvpatel said:
I was there too. I distinctly remember the tour bus driver saying you can watch the launch from there. But I am not 100% positive. Besides, the answer now is moot any way. :)

Maybe your bus driver and my bus driver should get on the same page. I remember the last few launches i've seen there seems to be nearly nobody at the big timer.
 

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motomann said:
I was there last year and if I remember correctly the public is no longer allowed to be at the big countdown clock, just press ppl.
True, you have to have press creds to get there.

Eh, regardless - anyone seeing this should make an attempt to see it live before the last flight launches or lands next year. It's something you'll never forget. We took our kids last August (a year ago) because we wanted them to witness it first hand. DH and I saw Columbia, Discovery and Endeavour in the past and each time it was breathtaking. Our last time we were fortunate enough to be on the crew's guest list. We'll be forever grateful!

Although the OP has returned home, if anyone is able to go - make it happen. Especially if it's a night flight. :)
 

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More information on launch from KSC. Jetty park, which is just south of the cape is great places to view the launch, especially a night launch. This is a county park, at the beach, and there is a $5 fee to park there. If the launch is scrubbed, you can watch the cruise ships leave Canaveral port.

However, due to the popularity of Jetty park and how crowded the park can get, going further south on any of Brevard county's beaches are a great place to watch the launch. Also, if you are here when a Shuttle is not being launched, there may be other rocket launches, some of which are as spectacular as the Shuttle launch. If you are down in the central Florida region (Orlando and Mickey world and Daytona Beach), find out in the local news if any rocket launches are scheduled.

Sorry about the Shuttle scrubs. The Space Shuttle is a very complex machine which gets scrubbed for any little reason due to safety.
 

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It's scheduled for this Thursday at 4:50. We shall se....
 

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Its was just Discovery's last mission. There are 2 more launches left. One in May and the other in June so I gather.
 
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