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STS-131 shuttle launch (Apr 5)

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  • STS-131 shuttle launch (Apr 5)

    I'm thinking about driving the family from Memphis to see it. I know I'm late to the game to get the "good tickets", but I don't think we'll be too picky about how/where/what we view/hear. I'd appreciate any tips/thoughts/advice from anyone who's been to watch a shuttle launch before (particularly if you traveled from "out of town" to do it).
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    Re: STS-131 shuttle launch (Apr 5)

    Well, I can offer the benefit of my experience having lived in orlando 20 minutes from canaveral and been to 10+ shuttle launches. I did the courtesy of checking KSC to see what tickets were available, and it appears that you're out of luck as far as that goes. Watching from the visitor complex and the transport causeway (the two places you can buy tickets from) are both sold out already. However, fear not, there are free places to watch from. My personal recommendation would be to watch it from the SR-528 Bennett Causeway or from an open area on SR-5/US-1 (N Cocoa Blvd.). If you go to google maps and input this: 28.40426, -80.7504 and 28.40584, -80.6385 (this is the good spot) you'll be able to see both roads I'm talking about.

    Now, for the free spots, it tends to fill up quick. People tailgate and hang out for hours prior to watching the launch. If you want a prime viewing spot on the causeway (where I always went, has the most parking, cops patrolling to keep everyone safe, lots of space for setting up cameras, etc), I recommend you get there NO LATER than 3 hours prior to the launch. Especially for afternoon/night launches. The last launch I went to was approximately 7pm and people were already fighting over spots by 4:30 and there wasnt anything left by 5. So bring some comfy lawn/beach chairs, bring toys for the kids (theres a beach on the inlet and theres no gators, so the kids can even go swimming), and bring food or a barbecue grill, cause you're gonna be there for a while before the launch. Also, IIRC, this is the LAST shuttle launch EVER, so i'd plan on showing up extra extra early and hanging out because it's going to be a gala event of sorts.

    The reason I only went to try and watch a launch on US-1 ONCE was because it's a huge hassle. There is a very very limited amount of places you can watch from without having 10-15 foot tall mangroves blocking the first 20 seconds of the launch. It's also much much farther away from the launchpad, so you're not going to get as good of a show.

    There are plenty of places to stay in the direct area (the causeway is literally half a mile from the main drag on cocoa beach), but if you dont mind driving a bit to get to your viewing spot, I can give you some good places to stay in east orlando/titusville/even daytona that will have you there in 30 minutes or less.

    Hope that helps!




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