Sunday, 17 December 2017

Cruising The Space Coast

Falcon 9, 1st Stage Burn
Titusville Florida, and nearby Cocoa Beach, are known for their proximity to Kennedy Space Center (KSC). We anchored there with a specific mission - to see a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch at this famous site. There are several designated anchorages that provide great viewing of the launches, however we opted to leave the boat and visit the nearby KSC Visitor Center with friends.

Space Cadet Neil
I was there in 2003, however even that wasn't my first visit. Back in 1972, only 45 years ago, I was there as a student representative for Australia - hosted by NASA, as a guest of the US Government. Back then I was truly fortunate to see the final spectacular Saturn V moon launch, for the Apollo 17 mission. That was an incredibly significant experience, and had all sorts of impacts on my life from that day forward. Yes I built a lot of rockets, had been doing so for many years, we even launched one from Crystal Blues on our wedding day!

So this really was a pilgrimage for me ... and I wasn't disappointed. With the boat safely anchored we arrived at KSC early, and joined the line of excited visitors. NASA provided buses to take us across Merritt Island to the Apollo Center, where viewing stands were available for the launch.

With Admiral Ley I watched the SpaceX launch and the (amazing) powered descent and soft landing of the 1st stage booster section around 8 minutes later. Also amazing is that both the booster and the Dragon spacecraft on top had been flown before (re-usable space craft are here). This launch was a re-supply mission to the International Space Station, flown by SpaceX for NASA.

If you're cruising the Florida coast, don't miss Kennedy Space Center.  It's a fantastic place and NASA do a great job entertaining and educating visitors of any age. If you really want to see a launch, check the launch schedule on the KSC web site. Thanks to Andrew & Carolyn Bellamy for sharing a fantastic day, full of great memories for this slightly older space cadet!

SpaceX Falcon 9 & Dragon Lift Off

UPDATE January 8, 2018 / Watch the SpaceX launch video for Mission CRS13 !

Yes, We had A Fun Day!

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