View Full Version : Shuttle Launch Question

03-05-2001, 08:39 PM
While we are in Orlando the week of June 2-10, there is a scheduled shuttle launch on June 8. I was just wondering. On the days of shuttle launchs, are there so many people at Cape Kennedy that the crowds make seeing the other things there (museums, IMAX theater, exhibits) almost impossible?
If this is true, where would be the best place to watch the launch, Co-Co beach?

Fort Wilderness 85, 87, 92
Disney Village 97
Coranodo Springs 99
Fort Wilderness June 2-10 2001

Disney Campers
03-06-2001, 04:48 AM
It would be nice to watch a launch, I have never seen one, it rarely lifts on on schedule, so if you head over keep that in mind, The space center is a nice diversion from Orlando, while it probably is busier during a launch it should still be fun.

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03-07-2001, 02:06 PM
You may want a closer look, but when we were at WDW in the beginning if Feb, we watched one launch right over center stage at MGM's Fantasmic Amphitheater. It was just after sunset with a full moon rising. The exhaust trail absolutely glowed and we could even see the separation of the smaller fuel tanks. Incredible! It was a nice way to pass time waiting for the show to start.

BTW, it actually went off on time!

03-16-2001, 11:36 AM
I saw on the boards that a space shuttle launch is planed for June 8th. Anyone know what time of day the launch is scheduled for take-off. My DH and my oldest DS would love this. It will be a must for our vaction. Thanks for your help.

03-16-2001, 11:40 AM
Just a warning - the traffic going from Orlando out toward Cocoa Beach is HORRIBLE the morning of a launch. I've heard people say that they leave WDW at 3 or 4:00 in the morning just to sit in traffic while it launches!

One man told me that he and his wife watched it from FW! They just stood in a clearing and had a great view of it!

- Rhonda :-)
Camping Board Co-Moderator

03-16-2001, 06:28 PM
Is there a web site that will tell you when the launches are scheduled for? We are also going in June and was wondering if there would be any more.

And that would be awesome to watch it from Fort Wilderness!

Sharon in Florida
Wife to Cameron for the past 15 1/2 years (July 2)
Taxi Mom to: Christopher-12 1/2 & Kayla-9
My Trips to DW:
Next Trip: June 15-25, 2001
FW-6/94, 95, 96,2000

03-18-2001, 07:07 AM
Last week we visited Florida from England for a few days. This was a surprise vacation for my fiancee(she didn't know where we were going right up until we were checking in at London Gatwick Airport).

When i booked the trip i noticed there was a SPACE SHUTTLE LAUNCH whilst we were going to be there.

So i booked two LAUNCH TRANSPORTATION TICKETS through www.kennedyspacecenter.com. (http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com.) They arrived 2 weeks prior to the launch by UPS and cost me $15 a ticket.

We arrived at Orlando Int. Airport on Wed 7th Mar at 5.00pm, checked in at the Best Western LBV, had a meal at Planet Hollywood DD, then went straight to bed at 11.00pm.

We then got up at 2.00am, i then phoned NASA to check the launch time was still on schedule and then drove over to Kennedy Space center.

At this early time in the morning there wasn't as much traffic as i anticipated so we got there quite early. The launch was set for 6.42am (a couple of minutes after sunrise).

We parked the car at the visitor complex and boarded a coach out to the launch viewing site which is on the causeway about 6 miles from the shuttle. It was amazing the amount of cars, coaches and motorhomes we passed on our way ou there. The whole atmosphere was very eerie, it reminded us of the film - Close Encounters.

Just prior to the launch the moon went down about 90 degrees to my left if the shuttle was dead center. Then the sun came up about 90 degrees to my right. It was a picture perfect day for it.

As the sun came up we could see more and more detail on the shuttle and launch pad.

From the public address system we could hear all systems were go. Then the countdown from 12 seconds began. At about T-4 seconds we could see clouds of smoke filling up around the launch pad, then through the smoke the shuttle appeared with a very bright glow from the burn of its boosters.

It continued to go up at an angle that would put it in to the correct orbit to enable it to dock with the International Space Station. It was now at about 30-40 seconds into the launch. Up until this point there had been no noise, just a trail of smoke, then all of a sudden the thunder of its engines crept up on us to the point were it was very, very loud.

We could then see the 2 booster rockets seperate from the shuttle. We followed it until it was about 75 miles altitude and 110 miles downrange from KSC. At this point it was "in space".

The only evidence of the launch was an unnatural cloud that was left behind from the burn. This lingered in the sky for quite a while.

The whole experience was an absolutley awesome one and we were so lucky to get to witness it. I highly reccomend jump at the chance to see it.

You can also see a shuttle launch at Titusville, which is about 10 miles from the pad.

To check the most up to date launch schedule visit www.ksc.nasa.gov (http://www.ksc.nasa.gov) or call 1-877-893-NASA (6272) for a KSC launch status report.

03-18-2001, 10:54 AM
Wow...thanks! I loved reading your report! Excellent. I'll check out the web sites you listed too. Thanks again!
Sounds like you had a wonderful time! :)

Sharon in Florida
Wife to Cameron for the past 15 1/2 years (July 2)
Taxi Mom to: Christopher-12 1/2 & Kayla-9
My Trips to DW:
Next Trip: June 15-25, 2001
FW-6/94, 95, 96,2000

03-19-2001, 03:30 PM
We, too saw the launch on March 8 of STS 102. WE had long been planning our trip to FW and Disney for the March 9 - 16 time frame. When we figured out there was a launch for March 8, we changed our plans and went a couple days early. The launch was absolutely awesome. We watched it from a Brevard county campground named Manatee Hammock. It is a small park on the Indian River directly across from KSC. We had an unobstructed view of the launch without ever leaving our campground - all for only $18.50 per night with full hook-ups. Tent sites are a little cheaper. Then we toured KSC, and it was not unbearably crowded, even with the launch. I highly recommend the campground for anyone wanting to view a launch - you can make reservations in advance. The campsites were about the size of the sites at FW, maybe a little larger. The restrooms were clean, and the view of the launch was incredible, especially considering we didn't have to fight any traffic to see it.

For summer launches - there is also a pool at the campground.

What a great combination for a vacation - a perfect shuttle launch and DW!! Can't wait to go again!!!!!!

03-20-2001, 05:49 AM
The scheduled shuttle lift-off is at either 5:50pm or 6:50pm on June 8th.
I took the time to look it up a couple weeks ago, but I may be off by an hour. I think its 6:50pm.

03-21-2001, 12:08 PM
1) We saw the STS-88 Endeavour night (4:08am) launch.
2) What a site!!!
3) We parked along the causeway to Cocoa Beach.
4) When driving to Kennedy, follow the signs to Cocoa Beach, not Kennedy.
5) Allow 2-1/2 hours from WDW.

NOTE: If you call Kennedy for parking tickets, they can give you the name of two private individuals that sell tickets to their own property to watch the launches. The price includes parking and a beach and a band - you bring munches and blankets.

03-22-2001, 09:50 AM

Melissa R
03-24-2001, 04:38 AM
Just so everyone knows, they just recently (in the last couple of days) changed the June 8 launch to June 14 at 4:15 PM.

03-24-2001, 02:43 PM
Look at NASA's website( I think it's NASA.com) for Launch Times.Traffic is horrific around the launch area, but watching the launch is amazing, especially at night.