CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) is set to launch one of the Hawthorne, California-based company’s Falcon 9 v1.1 rockets from Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 40, in Florida. The last milestone before flight, a static fire test of the booster, was successfully completed on Dec. 19 – setting the stage for launch, currently scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Jan. 6. With the mission poised to get underway – where are the best places along Florida’s Space Coast from which to watch this launch?
Not all viewing locations are ideal and some spots, which are perfect to view a Delta IV take to the skies – are terrible when viewing the flight of a Falcon 9. This is due to the sheer geographical size that Cape Canaveral Air Force Station encompasses. Here is SpaceFlight Insider’s recommendations for where to view the flight of SpX-5 from.
While it might seem counter-intuitive, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is, itself, not the best spot to view the launch from. From the Visitor Complex proper, the view is restricted by the many landmarks located there.
Having said that, the Visitor Complex does offer tours to locations which provide exceptional viewing for the launch of the Falcon 9.
More over, if you want to get the full space “experience”– you can’t go wrong by paying a visit to the Visitor Complex. You will get to wander among the spacecraft and launch vehicles of days gone by. Or you can visit space shuttle Atlantis in her new $100 million exhibit and even meet an astronaut. If everything goes according to plan? You can start your “day of space” by watching by seeing a rocket lift off! To find out more, click here: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex or call:
Port Canaveral: This is definitely one of the better viewing locations to watch the launch from. Even better? It is totally free, incredibly easy to find, as well as filled with locations from which to park (so long as you arrive early). All you need to do is park along SR-528 in the Port/Cape Canaveral area. One need only look for the cars parked along the side of the road.
Directions to Port Canaveral: Take SR-528, “The Beachline” toward Titusville. After you reach the Port Canaveral area, take “Exit A North Terminals.” Once you’ve done that you will cross over a small drawbridge, go around the curve in the road – this will take you right behind the port. If you are coming from the opposite direction (the east) you will travel from A1A (this will eventually become SR-528). Click here for directions to the Port Canaveral area: Port Canaveral.
If you would like to follow the launch as it happens – tune into 146.940 MHz or you can tune into SpaceFlight Insider’s Live Mission Monitor.
One final recommendation, if this is the first launch that you have watched – put the camera down and just enjoy it. There will be plenty of images posted on the internet by both NASA and SpaceX.
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