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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Where to watch rocket launch in or near motorhome?

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jspringator

Versailles, KY 40383

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Posted: 05/26/20 12:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We want to watch the launch on Wednesday. I just discovered today Playlanda Beach is closed, and Jetty Park is annual pass holders only. Is there a place where we can watch the launch and either stay in the motorhome, or at least very close to it?


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kohldad

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Posted: 05/26/20 01:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For one of the last shuttle launches I got there very early (7pm for an 11am liftoff) and was able to get a standard parking spot in the parking lot at the causeway for my truck camper. Would have needed to get there earlier in the day for a motor home. If it had gone off I would of had great views. Kicking myself now for not waiting for the next attempt which would have been late that night as it went off.

One thing to keep in mind is there is about a 40% of having good enough weather for the launch on Wednesday with the next attempt on Saturday.


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RobWNY

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Posted: 05/26/20 01:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jspringator, Playalinda Beach is likely closed because the launch is from pad 39A which is the closest pad to the beach. We spent the winter in Mims, FL and watched all of the launches while we were there. We watched several on U.S. 1 at Rt. 50 (Cheney Highway) There's a Wahlgreens at that intersection that's large enough for your motorhome. Or there's Space View Park in Titusville. There's also parking along side A. Max Brewer Memorial Parkway but sometimes that gets closed. Wherever you choose to watch from, looking at the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) at KSC, your view will be to the North side of that building.
Normally, I would say to get to a location 90 minutes ahead of a launch but since this is the first manned launch in several years, arrive a good 3 hours ahead of the launch time. There will be thousands of people there to watch!


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Posted: 05/26/20 04:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't know how close you need to be to get a good view of a rocket launch. But a couple years ago we camped at Manatee Hammock Campground near Titusville. There were no launches while we were there, but I have a mental note to try to go back there when there are launches to watch. It is almost directly across the Indian River from Cape Canaveral. You can see the larger structures of the Kennedy Space Center complex from the campground. I think it would be a great place to watch a launch. Not too close; not too far away. I think you'd have a great view of the rocket as it gets farther up in the atmosphere than you would if you were as close as possible to the launch site. Of course, if what you are looking for is the ground-rattling, up-close-and-personal experience, that's something else.

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Big Katuna

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Posted: 05/26/20 04:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NASA has asked the public not to attend for what it’s worth.


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MDKMDK

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Posted: 05/26/20 05:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

November '08, we watched the last night launch from a parking lot across US1 from the McDonalds. Didn't see the actual lift off from the ground, but we knew it was coming as the entire sky on the island lit up orange as the engines roared to life, and the shuttle cleared the treeline a few seconds later.
Doesn't work as well, or impress as much, for a daylight launch.

* This post was edited 05/26/20 09:19pm by MDKMDK *


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jspringator

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Posted: 05/26/20 07:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks. We're going to try Space View Park.

I undertand why they don't want people watching. We've been in FL since Sunday, and nobody here wears a mask. They don't appear to care for the 6 feet concept either. I look like a freak with my wrap around safety glasses and KN-95 mask. At home I was just like everybody else. It is an easy painless step that protects me and protects you. I don't want to be indoors more than 10 minutes, even with a mask. I'm going to watch from the MH. If we can't make that work, we're heading to the Walgreens. The park opens at 8, and we'll be there shortly thereafter. If they cancel, we'll just head home.

We had to cancel our spring trip, and probably won't get a summer one. Our out of state quaranteen was lifted on Friday and we left on Saturday night. Courts open on the first, so this was our shot. We're both working virtually. No restaurants and very limited shopping. Our generator stopped working, and I seized up something trying to re-start it, so I had to go into Walmart to buy a turkey baster. Sucked out some oil and used a 9/16 wrench on the flywheel to loosen everything up and no problems since. Google is your friend.

Old-Biscuit

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Posted: 05/26/20 11:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MDKMDK wrote:

November '08, we watched the last night launch from a parking lot across US1 from the McDonalds. Didn't see the actual lift off from the ground, but we knew it was coming as the entire sky on the island lit up orange as the engines roared to life, and the shuttle cleared the treeline a few seconds later.
Doesn't work as well, or impress as much, for a daylight launch.


We were parked in same lot........

[image]

We were in same parking lot on Feb 7, 2010 for Endeavors scheduled launch....scrubbed
Back to parking lot next early morning Feb 8, 2010 for Endeavors launch at 4:14am ----Last Nightime Launch


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jspringator

Versailles, KY 40383

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Posted: 05/27/20 07:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We made it. No one is here. There was a cut out in the curb big enough for the MH and I u-turned my way in.

I don't know if this will work or not.

[image]Untitled by jspringator, on Flickr

MDKMDK

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Posted: 05/27/20 08:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

MDKMDK wrote:

November '08, we watched the last night launch from a parking lot across US1 from the McDonalds. Didn't see the actual lift off from the ground, but we knew it was coming as the entire sky on the island lit up orange as the engines roared to life, and the shuttle cleared the treeline a few seconds later.
Doesn't work as well, or impress as much, for a daylight launch.


We were parked in same lot........

[image]

We were in same parking lot on Feb 7, 2010 for Endeavors scheduled launch....scrubbed
Back to parking lot next early morning Feb 8, 2010 for Endeavors launch at 4:14am ----Last Nightime Launch


Should have said "one of the last" launches after dark. I'll use the "I misspoke" reason that's so popular these days.
According to this site, the last night launch was Discovery, not Endeavour.
And it was April, not February?
It was in 2010.
Confusing?
The one we saw was spectacular. I have some rather grainy pics, so I won't bother posting them. I wasn't much of a night photog back then, or now, come to think of it.

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/launch/night_launches.html

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