Florida Guide > Other Activities
Where to watch a shuttle launch
If you are fortunate enough to be in Orlando when a shuttle launch is imminent, then do take the opportunity to go and watch it. I am sure you will not be disappointed, as it is an amazing sight.
There are many viewpoints in the area, and of course you can get tickets to watch the launch from the Kennedy Space Centre, but a friend found this lovely venue, Space View Park, part of the Space Walk-of-Fame project, which turned out to be ideal.
Although you can just park by the side of the road, once you get near the Space Centre, you do need to be there in good time. So, to avoid sitting in a hot car for too long, we decided to try the Space View Park in Titusville, as here you can park the car and watch the launch from the attractive waterfront gardens and boardwalk. It is especially useful if you have children, as they can get out of the car and walk around, and you can take rugs or chairs with you so you can relax and have a picnic while you wait. There are fascinating monuments to previous missions, as well as the handprints of astronauts.
There are toilets here, too, which may be useful! When a launch is taking place a group of local enthusiasts set up various stalls selling food, drinks and shuttle memorabilia. They normally set up loudspeakers so that you can listen to the NASA audio commentary as the countdown proceeds. They are also a fund of knowledge, and during the long wait we were regaled with interesting information, such as why there are ‘holds’ during the countdown.
To find the park follow these directions:
We were approaching from our villa on Highway 27 so we made our way up the 417 Greeneway Toll Rd north, past the airport, until the junction with the SR-528 going East. Bear right onto the SR-528 (once known as the Beeline Expressway, but now called the Beachline Expressway). Follow the SR-528 until you get to the Interstate 95 North.
Take Interstate 95 to Exit 220, at State Rd 406. This is the exit for Canaveral National Seashore and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Take SR-406 (Garden St to the locals) East for about 2 miles. Proceed along Garden St to US-1 and turn right onto US-1 between the 7-Eleven and the CVS drug store. Almost immediately you will see a turning on your left called Broad St. Turn left onto Broad St and follow it to the end. You can park behind the Wachovia Bank on your right, or along Indian River Ave. The park is on Broad ST at the Indian River.
If you are in Florida when there is to be a shuttle launch then try to see it if you can, it’s well worth the trip.
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