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  #1  
Old 08-15-2011, 03:42 PM
JDRhodes JDRhodes is offline
 
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Default Space launch viewing - non shuttle

There has been a good bit of discussion here on best places / procedures for viewing shuttle launches. What about viewing unmanned launches from the Cape. Specifically - the Space X launch to the ISS, planned around Nov 30. These launch from the "Air Force" side, as I understand. Would assume the crowds would be less than for shuttle launches. Where to go? How close can you get?
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2011, 05:32 PM
smoothy58 smoothy58 is offline
 
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JR-

Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral is always popular as is Grilles or FishLips at Port Canaveral. Fly into Merritt Island or Space Coast (TICO).

KSC Visitor's Center also offers tickets for the day of launch which will get you out on the causeway which is probably the closest view.

Since the Shuttle fly-out, there is a renewed interest in the expendable rockets.

Gerry Peterson
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  #3  
Old 08-15-2011, 09:08 PM
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I don't know if all of the unmanned launches will be from the Air Force side, or not. I watched the Juno launch a few days ago from Jetty Park. Good place to watch launches from the Air Force side, but you have to pay $10 per car to get in unless you are a Brevard County resident.
If the launch is from the NASA side where the Shuttles used to launch, then I think downtown Titusville, and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge would still be good spots.
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  #4  
Old 08-15-2011, 09:26 PM
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The road along the river behind the cruise terminals has the best view, viewing from Jetty Park and the Port you cannot see the launch pads.
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  #5  
Old 08-15-2011, 10:20 PM
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Scream Scream is offline
 
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Default Best View

I have seen a couple of unmanned launches from the Cape and the best one was at night from the ocean side. When I was a young dumb Lieutenant, a buddy and I talked a couple of Orlando girls into coming out to the Cape for the weekend. We stumbled upon a BYOB night sailboat tour that dropped anchor at the edge of the restricted area about 3 miles offshore. Between the Yuengling, the girls, and the fireworks of a Delta IV launch it made for a memorable night.

So I recommend getting on one of the party boats. I bet a day launch would be just as cool.
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  #6  
Old 08-16-2011, 09:40 AM
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dmaib dmaib is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scream View Post
I have seen a couple of unmanned launches from the Cape and the best one was at night from the ocean side. When I was a young dumb Lieutenant, a buddy and I talked a couple of Orlando girls into coming out to the Cape for the weekend. We stumbled upon a BYOB night sailboat tour that dropped anchor at the edge of the restricted area about 3 miles offshore. Between the Yuengling, the girls, and the fireworks of a Delta IV launch it made for a memorable night.

So I recommend getting on one of the party boats. I bet a day launch would be just as cool.
I watched the next to last Shuttle launch from a private boat down in Mosquito Lagoon. We were at the edge of of the restricted area and it was a great place to watch. I think the party boat option would be great!
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  #7  
Old 01-04-2018, 09:41 AM
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Has anyone watched a SpaceX launch while airborne, if so, how does it compare from a land based vantage point?
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2018, 12:37 PM
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Default Vandenberg AFB

10 miles out at 5K I watched a launch out of the coastal fog then disappear through a high layer. A clear sky would have given a better result but in the end, hearing my engine drone on instead of hearing and feeling the energy of the launch made it less exciting than being on the ground near the launch site.
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  #9  
Old 01-04-2018, 03:47 PM
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A good source to keep up with the launches including launch schedule changes is:

https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/

(Yes, even us gov'mint types cross reference the civilian web sites to keep up with what's going on...!)
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  #10  
Old 01-04-2018, 08:49 PM
asw20c asw20c is offline
 
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Just a few weeks ago, the Friday before Christmas to be exact, my wife and I were doing a sightseeing flight (we call it "date night" with a milkshake to follow) at night and were flying from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, NM when we saw a bright light, with what looked like a huge mist plume toward the western horizon. No one knew what it was and the airwaves were lit up with people making pireps to Albuquerque Approach. Turns out it was a SpaceX launch from Vandenberg. Pretty amazing that we saw it as clearly as we did from that far away.
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