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Old 01-29-2010, 08:05 PM   #1
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Default Going to the Space Shuttle Launch

My wife, daughter and i are going to Florida to watch the STS-130 launch on Sunday Feb 7th. It is a night launch, very early in the morning before dawn. I have tickets for the NASA Causeway which is the closest viewing spot for mere mortals. There is an Atlas V launch on Tuesday afternoon so hopefully we will get to see that as well. We'll do the usual Orlando stuff in there somewhere.

Finally. I have been wanting to see a shuttle launch since they started the program. Fingers crossed for no launch scrubs...
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:17 PM   #2
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My wife, daughter and i are going to Florida to watch the STS-130 launch on Sunday Feb 7th. It is a night launch, very early in the morning before dawn. I have tickets for the NASA Causeway which is the closest viewing spot for mere mortals. There is an Atlas V launch on Tuesday afternoon so hopefully we will get to see that as well. We'll do the usual Orlando stuff in there somewhere.

Finally. I have been wanting to see a shuttle launch since they started the program. Fingers crossed for no launch scrubs...
I was sort of upset with my experience a year or two ago, since we didn't have tickets onto the cape and had to watch from the nearest beach location, which happened to be next to a neat little NASA museum, which I recommend you visiting. An old man who used to be one of the heads of NASA back in the day of the Apollo missions runs the museum and he will talk your ears off about some very neat stuff. Plenty of little gadgets and neat artifacts there. Forget the exact location, but it's right there in Titusville. Anyway, I'd like to go again with tickets onto the cape. Even from a few miles away it was still pretty cool. The weather that morning was iffy, but it turned out to be a perfect day for a launch viewing. Not nearly as loud as I was thinking it would be though. Hope ya'll have fun.

This is how far we were from it. Far, but still a clear view.

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I'm surprised my camera could focus that far out. We have separation...

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Left a cool looking trail



I think the coolest part from where we watched it from was how long the sound took to reach us. Saw it and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally after probably 10 seconds you could hear it. By then it was already well off the pad. Strange watching something that big from that far away because it seems much closer than it is.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:04 PM   #3
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I guess I'll never be able to see a launch up close. Visited Kennedy Space Center a bunch but never witnessed a launch. I've seen a few from my house. I live in Gainesville, and thats like 170 miles away! From the youtube videos I see that you guys are gonna have an awesome view.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:49 PM   #4
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I'm surprised my camera could focus that far out. We have separation...
cameras can focus at (and sometimes beyond) infinity.

i hear this place is good, if you're near by.
Google Maps

also my only sushi rec in orlando, Hanamizuki
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:55 PM   #5
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I got to look an my jpeg files of some night shots I took from Jacksonville, all it captured it two ***** of fire that passed by at blazing speed. Never close to what you are going to experience, but is better than nothing and is on camera.


Pictures were taken at 1600 ISO using a Nikon 300mm telephoto AIs lens with a x2 converter, managed to remove some grain with Photoshop CS4, will see if I find them.

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Old 01-29-2010, 10:37 PM   #6
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NA6C those are some good shots. I know the name of that Park you are talking about, Space-something I think. I remember reading about it as a great shuttle launch viewing site (this is my first time out there so I have been reading up on whatever I can).

I seriously considered going there because the causeway tickets are not cheap, and I am a cheap bastard sometimes. My wife told me to man up and spend the money since this is the only time we will get to go. I think she was right.

You can see it in Gainesville? Damn...

Thanks for the sushi recommendation.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by y8s View Post
cameras can focus at (and sometimes beyond) infinity.

i hear this place is good, if you're near by.
Google Maps

also my only sushi rec in orlando, Hanamizuki
I meant more the af. I wasn't exactly paying much attention to the camera.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:42 PM   #8
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NA6C those are some good shots. I know the name of that Park you are talking about, Space-something I think. I remember reading about it as a great shuttle launch viewing site (this is my first time out there so I have been reading up on whatever I can).

I seriously considered going there because the causeway tickets are not cheap, and I am a cheap bastard sometimes. My wife told me to man up and spend the money since this is the only time we will get to go. I think she was right.

You can see it in Gainesville? Damn...

Thanks for the sushi recommendation.
I think you made the right choice. While it was impressive, I don't think I would do it again without knowing I could get a lot closer. But do visit the museum. If that old man is still kicking, he will give you an ear full. I was surprised that we were the only people there a few hours before the launch, so we got personal attention and a guided tour. He had a lot of cool stories to tell.

Google maps has some pretty high quality satellite images of the space center grounds. Pretty good detail on the launch pads. That place is a nightmare of roads and buildings scattered randomly.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:23 PM   #9
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Night launches are AWESOME! The volume seems to depend on the atmospheric conditions. I have been to a couple launches. Hope they get it off the ground while you are there! I've never been as close as you will be.
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:23 AM   #10
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They still do those things? Why?
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:38 AM   #11
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They still do those things? Why?
You're still here? Why?
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:05 AM   #12
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Closest I've ever been to a shuttle launch was Jacksonville. My dad said they had just launched a shuttle, so whenever that happens you have about 20 seconds before you can see it come over the horizon. Still cool even from that far away. Have a blast, ZX!
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:19 PM   #13
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I've seen about 10 since living here in Jacksonville. You think that's far, you can see it from Long Island on a clear day. That's probably more to do with the direction that shuttle launches though. The best I've seen was one at sunset. You could still see it 10 minutes later with the sun reflecting off of it.
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:08 PM   #14
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You're still here? Why?
Presumably, because I have a turbocharged Miata, which is more then can be said about you...

Still, I think they're pretty cool, I've watched a bunch of them on TV, though unfortunately never close... I just don't see a point in doing them. Enjoy yourself man!
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:51 PM   #15
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So why post in this thread at all then? Go crap somewhere else.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:08 AM   #16
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I have been awake for 26 hours straight and I am a little punchy so I'll keep it brief. My family and I basically got buttraped by Delta and American Airlines from 6am Saturday morning at San Antonio until we finally made it to Orlando at 8 pm. Between three aircraft mechanical cancellations, idiot ticket counter agents, poor inter and intra airline communication, and the East coast airport closures, it was a perfect storm of travel hell. And the cherry on top was not getting out of the airport until 9 thanks to my luggage being lost. We should have been out of there at least 6 hours before that.

So I missed my scheduled tour bus to the Cape and had to catch one somewhere else. No time to go to the hotel. My daughter was sick from sniffles that escalated to a cold during the trip so my wife took her to the hotel and I ventured on solo. After another 4+ hours on my feet standing in lines and fighting huge crowds at the Cape visitors center I finally made it to the causeway. I sat out in the cold, looking at the shuttle on the pad, right up until they scrubbed the launch a 4:30 in the morning due to cloud cover. ****

It was a ************ of a day/night. We are going to try again tonight.
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:00 AM   #17
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I wish they were doing it just an hour later..

Endeavour Launch Rescheduled
Sun, 07 Feb 2010 05:45:38 AM EST

Managers officially have scheduled space shuttle Endeavour's next launch attempt for Monday, Feb. 8 at 4:14 a.m. EST.

The Mission Management Team will meet at 6:15 p.m. Sunday to give the "go" to fill Endeavour's external fuel tank with propellants. Tank loading would begin at 6:45 p.m.
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Old 02-07-2010, 03:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZX-Tex View Post
I have been awake for 26 hours straight and I am a little punchy so I'll keep it brief. My family and I basically got buttraped by Delta and American Airlines from 6am Saturday morning at San Antonio until we finally made it to Orlando at 8 pm. Between three aircraft mechanical cancellations, idiot ticket counter agents, poor inter and intra airline communication, and the East coast airport closures, it was a perfect storm of travel hell. And the cherry on top was not getting out of the airport until 9 thanks to my luggage being lost. We should have been out of there at least 6 hours before that.

So I missed my scheduled tour bus to the Cape and had to catch one somewhere else. No time to go to the hotel. My daughter was sick from sniffles that escalated to a cold during the trip so my wife took her to the hotel and I ventured on solo. After another 4+ hours on my feet standing in lines and fighting huge crowds at the Cape visitors center I finally made it to the causeway. I sat out in the cold, looking at the shuttle on the pad, right up until they scrubbed the launch a 4:30 in the morning due to cloud cover. ****

It was a ************ of a day/night. We are going to try again tonight.
Damn, that sucks major *****. Wish it had gone smoother for you guys. Fortunately the day I went we had a little cloud cover and lightning within 20 miles, but they went ahead with it through a small break in the cover.
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:13 PM   #19
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Thanks. I'm feeling much better after some sleep We'll be trying again tonight.
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:33 PM   #20
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Hope your daughter starts feeling better too, it's never fun traveling with a sick baby.
Good luck with the shuttle launch.
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