The Space Shuttle

As I write this, I’m waiting for the news to cover the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis for its STS-132 mission. I tried to arrange going to Florida and getting tickets for a viewing tour for this particular launch. In the process, I found out a lot of useful information…just in case I can find a way to see one of the two remaining launches. Talk about coming down to the wire, after so many years of wanting to see a space shuttle launch in person!

So, here is what I found out. These aren’t necessarily “little known” tips for viewing a launch…just things that were unknown to me as a would-be first-time visitor to Florida. The first thing is that the best place for viewing a launch is on the NASA causeway. Not being familiar with Florida myself, I would have wanted to get there with a tour company that sells tickets for the causeway viewing area. I found one company that gives a listing of particular tour bus pick-up spots, some of which are accommodations. That’s one convenient option…staying at one of the hotels that also happens to be a pick-up spot. I made a note of all such places just in case things work out for one of the final two launches.
Getting tickets from a tour company for the causeway view seems to be easier than trying to buy them through the KSC Web site…at least in my case anyway. On the day I tried to buy launch viewing tickets for the causeway, I made a mistake in the hour that tickets would officially go on sale. I woke up thinking that tickets went on sale at 8 a.m., however, they would go on sale an hour later. When the time came, I went onto the Web site and saw that it was set up sort of like being in a virtual waiting line. Visitors would be picked at random for their turn to buy tickets, and I only had 40 minutes to hope I’d be picked. So, I decided to try another option and that led me to Google searches of space shuttle launch tour companies.
For next time, my two biggest pieces of knowledge…accommodations on the tour bus pick-up route and buy causeway viewing tickets through the tour company. Beyond that, the hardest part will be getting to Florida and back. If I fly, I’d need a rental car…and I don’t know if I could afford both of those plus accommodations and shuttle launch viewing tickets. Of course, I am unfortunately a long way from Florida by car. The other thing is that both of the upcoming and remaining two launches will be within my Fall semester. I’m not sure how it will work out in getting to see either launch, however this is a long-time goal. It would mean seeing a part of American history involving people I’ve always felt were heroes, the astronauts.
The photo I used for this post is one I took at the Wright Brothers museum, a display showing aviation history, while visiting the Outer Banks in 2004.

About caroldwyer

A freelance photographer and blogger, I'm also a non-traditional graduate of Cabrini College with a B.A. in communication, minor in English and concentration in film studies. As a student, I was a staff writer, photographer and copy editor for the Loquitur. In my final semester, I assisted in promoting campus literary events for Woodcrest Literary Magazine. I love travel, historic places, nature, wildlife and the arts. I hope to be involved in some way with one of those areas throughout my media career. Currently, I'm pursuing my M.F.A. in creative writing and publishing. Read my film blog at - and my literary blog at
This entry was posted in Aviation, Florida, Launch, Space Coast, Space Exploration, Space Shuttle, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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