Shuttle Launch  May 2010

I want to take this trip, what details should I know? Details and Trip Planning

See a Space Shuttle Launch

With only a few shuttle launches we thought it would be a good time to go down to Florida and see one before they stop. We were not able to get any of the tickets to view from the NASA causeway (sold out) so to avoid the crowds we tried something different and got tickets to the boat "The Miss Canaveral". One the plus side: It was a great way to beat the crowds, the distance to the launch pad was better than viewing from Titusville. On the down side: It was very quite over the water, you see the back side of the shuttle launch pad. On that day we could not see the shuttle while on the pad due to the haze. I am unsure if it was due our location on the water or if everyone had that problem that day.

Shuttle Launch STS-132, 2:20 p.m. EDT - May 14, 2010, Atlantis

Most of these are taken with a 55-250 lens with a 1.5 adjustment to 80mm-370mm (1.5x to 7.5x zoom). There are to many factors to say "this is the zoom you will see". The pictures range from close to what you will see with the naked eye (picture 1) to what you will see with standard 8x binoculars. Also note, that if you are viewing from a boat you cannot use this buildings as reference points if the shuttle launch pad is not visible due haze. The buildings are in the foreground and will shift significantly if your particular boat trip is a little farther north or south.

1x Zoom
7x Zoom
Booster Separation

Waiting for the Boat

So you have some time to kill before the boat leaves? Or maybe you just want somewhere to sit where you can have a beer and watch the shuttle launch in total comfort? Here is your place, Millikens Reef Bar and Restaurant. If we did not have plans for the boat ride I would have been sorely tempted to just stay here and watch the launch. And even if you do take the Miss Cape Canaveral the Bar is right next door, so we avoided the crowd by going 3 hrs early and having brunch and some drink before the boat left. Highly recommended


Other Viewing Locations

If you look at a map of Coco Beach you will see the port area where 528 and 401 intersect. To the east of this is a channel with a string of Bars and Restaurants and Jetty Park along the water front. Most people will see Jetty Park and the pier when they search for shuttle launch viewing locations, but I'm really wondering if the better place would be one of the bars. Yes your view is slightly more impeded, but I wonder if its really that much. And on the plus side you have food, beer, and rest rooms.

1. Millikens Reef Bar and Restaurant
2. Fish Lips Bar and Restaurant.(also great for dinner)
3. Jetty Park
4. Jetty Park Pier


What to do the rest of the time?

And if your in Coco Beach Florida anyway and have a few days to kill you need a couple of other activities. The shops a the Historic Coco Village Area is a nice place to wander around. Many weekends during the summer they close off the street and have tons of outside vendors. And a lady with some dogs with way to much free time.

And if shopping is not your thing there is the Coco Beach Pier. Yes they charge you a $1 to walk out, but the bar at the end has incredible Rum Runner drinks, a great view, and a semi tame pelican. (And thanks to Jill for the critter pictures)