Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Launch Viewing Locations

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, controlled by the 45th Space Wing, is responsible for ensuring America’s safe and assured access to space. The station, conjoining NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, is the location that launches rockets like the Atlas, Titan, and Delta. Although CCAFS does not have any public viewing areas, there are a number of locations off station where anyone can see a launch.
Following is a list of off-site viewing areas:
State Road 528 or the Beach Line Expressway, is a commuter road from Orlando to Titusville. Approaching Port Canaveral, a clear view of the launch pads on CCAFS may be seen from the Indian and Banana Rivers. It is recommended that anyone wishing to view a launch from SR 528 find a safe location where traffic will not be impeded.
Both Space Shuttle and rocket liftoffs can be viewed from Jetty Park in Port Canaveral. There is a minimal admission fee. The park typically closes at 9 p.m. but adjusts its hours to accommodate launch viewing. Call (321) 783-7111 for more information.
These areas also provide good vantage points:
Off State Road A1A along the Atlantic Ocean in Cocoa Beach.
Along the Indian River on U.S. Highway 1, between SR 405 and 402 (near Titusville). This location should provide the best view of the new Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle.
Boaters viewing launches should tune to Channel 16 VHF-FM for instructions from the Coast Guard pertaining to restricted areas. The Coast Guard will patrol those areas in the rivers and offshore in the Atlantic Ocean. Boaters will not be permitted north of marker 15 on the Banana river (where the high wires cross the river). Boaters may not enter the southern part of Mosquito Lagoon (past the Haulover Canal). However, the canal, part of the Intracoastal Waterway, will remain open to traffic. Boaters may not set foot on any land that is part of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station or Kennedy Space Center.

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