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Space shuttle viewing?

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Space shuttle viewing?

We will be arriving at NSB on Friday night. We just found out the space shuttle is taking off early Saturday morning. The owner of the house we are staying at said you can see the shuttle take off from the beach. We've never seen this and are VERY excited to see it! I just wanted some opinions - should we watch it from the beach or try to go somewhere closer?? If we go somewhere closer, where would that be and how early do you have to get there? It's supposed to launch at 7:17 am.

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1. Re: Space shuttle viewing?

It IS a sight to behold and a great view is possible from New Smyrna Beach if there are relatively few clouds to obscure the view. The only way to get a better view would be to travel to Titusville and watch it from there, either on the causeway or at the space Center itself. Check out their website for up to date info on tickets and launch info. The whole area around Titusville will be very crowded so the earlier, the better-at least several hours before launch. A lot of people will travel in RV's, etc. and park and spend the night. It is a zoo, but do-able. Otherwise, your best bet is to watch it from the beach in NSB-usually the trajectory takes it on a northernly course and it comes our way for a great sight! Also, if the launch is delayed, you don't have the hassles mentioned above--you just wait 'til the next launch time and walk out a few minutes before there it is! Whatever you do, DON'T miss it. I've been in ther area for nearly 30 years and STILL get a thrill every time I watch it.

New Smtrna Beach, FL
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2. Re: Space shuttle viewing?

Your timing is excellent! As I write this (Weds evening) the forecast is 90% likelihood of acceptable weather, and no technical issues. Given that the launch time is just after 7am, clouds that would impede your view are unlikely.

As far as trying to get closer, the main reason to do that would be less for the view and more for the sound and fury experienced up close. You can get really close (less than 5 miles) if you are willing to pay - they will bus you to a viewing site for around $50, but no refund if there's a scrub. You would have to be down there 3-4 hours prior to launch. If you're seriously considering that I could find you a link with the details...

For closer free viewing I would not recommend going to Titusville (when coming from NSB). Instead I would go south on US 1 just past Oak Hill and then turn left onto State Road 3. (Not well marked - use Google maps or GPS). From there you can go several miles south to a drawbridge over Haulover Canal, which is about 10 miles as the crow flies from the Pad. (NSB is roughly 30 miles.) It can get crowded for a night launch, but shouldn't be bad at 7am. Don't expect much for facilities...

Given the time of day and the forecast, watching from the beach is a good option, in my opinion. Good Luck!

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3. Re: Space shuttle viewing?

Tom - thanks so much for the info!!

I see you live in NSB, so do you have any other must-dos? Oh, we welcome advice from anyone else too!:)

Some of the things we want to do... see manatees (Mesquito Lagoon?), rent a pontoon boat or kayaks, see sea turtle nests, and see the lighthouse at Ponce Inlet. If you have any info on any of these things or anything else you think we must do (or places to eat), please let us know. We are traveling with our kids - ages 21, 17, and 9.

Thanks so much!

New Smtrna Beach, FL
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4. Re: Space shuttle viewing?

You are most welcome. Have a great trip!

My first and best recommendation is to scroll up and click on Seahorse67's name. S/he is a local too, and has provided dozens of great posts on a variety of NSB topics. (Excellent restaurant recommendations!!)

Manatees - Coincidentally the best place I know of to regularly see manatees is that same bridge over Haulover canal. It's in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. However June is not the best time - winter is more reliable... There are other things to see at the wildlife refuge though, even if the manatees aren't around - here's a link:

…suite101.com/article.cfm/visit_merritt_isla…

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse - Consider taking the water taxi -

http://watertaxi-nsb.com/

The Marine Discovery Center offers Eco-Tours (boat trips in the lagoon) -

www.marinediscoverycenter.org/ecotours.htm

By the way there is another launch planned for June 17th - an nmanned Atlas rocket sending a satellite to the moon!

aviationweek.com/aw/…

Again, have a great trip.

nsbfl
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5. Re: Space shuttle viewing?

There are many good places to watch the Space Shuttle in New Smyrna Beach. Any where along the beach of the Intracoastal Waterway is good, because there are less obstructions, like trees and buildings. There is a high-rise bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway that is especially good, as well as a couple of 2-story docks just south of there.

The launch was postponed to Wednesday, June 17, at 5:40 am. It should be beautiful, since the sky will be mostly dark, just a hint of the sun.

I will be watching from our 2-story dock on the Intracoastal Waterway!

essen, germany
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6. Re: Space shuttle viewing?

It is postponed to 07/11 again...

OK, I will be there this time. (hoooray!)

I only experienced that ONCE back in 1996 and I always wanted to see it again...

Sooo spectacular!

I have 3 guys with me who didn´t see a launch at all.

And exactly that is my point now...

Back in 1996 we were on a HUGE parking lot near the Space Center and it was quite near to the launch pad. (we could SEE it 10 miles away...)

It was amazing and the SOUND was unbelievable...

I assume that the sound will not be the same if we see it from somewhere else further away.

So what would be your best bet to see it??

I know that here are real specialists so please give me a clou...

Want to make it memorable for them!

Will they guide us again to a big parking lot if we don´t have admission tickets for the Space Center (which are sold out, of course :-(()

I really hope that there is someone who can help me out... no clou :-(

Really sorry, I bet there are millions asking that question over and over again...

Norwood, OH
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7. Re: Space shuttle viewing?

We got up the early on the morning that it was first supposed to launch. We couldn't believe our luck. It was our day to pack up and go home and we had never seen a launch, except a small rocket back in 07. The picture I have next to my username is what the morning looked like. This is my most favorite picture of the beach, ever.

Too bad that the launch was cancelled a second time. My husband always thought we should plan a trip around it. This tells me not to. :)

essen, germany
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for Walt Disney World, Anna Maria Island, Orlando
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8. Re: Space shuttle viewing?

You´re absolutly right...

You can never plan a trip around a launch. there are soo many things that can happen and the weather is really a big concern every time.

Even the next lauch 07/11. it is summer and there is a high possibility of evening storms :-(

we´ll see :-))

New Smyrna Beach
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9. Re: Space shuttle viewing?

I always watch the shuttle launches from a great bed and breakfast on Riverside Drive in New Smyrna Beach, it's called the Night Swan. They have a large, two-story dock and offer great coffee's and espresso's. There is always an interesting and entertaining crowd there as well!

10. Re: Space shuttle viewing?

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