Whoo-hoo … yesterday we received our package from NASA in the mail with our tickets for the shuttle launch on June 13th. Being at a shuttle launch is one of those things I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. In ten days we’ll drive down to Florida, which will take us about 20 hours over two days. Launch time is targeted at 7:19 AM on the 13th and I knew that we’d get a specific time slot to be there. Well, we now know our time and it is shocking:
OMG, that is early! Our hotel is about 45 minutes from the entrance to Kennedy Space Center, so we’re going to need to leave our hotel at least by 1:30 AM but probably earlier to be safe. The paperwork advises to allow double driving times as roads leading to KSC are packed on launch days.
We have tickets to see the launch from the NASA causeway, which is the closest public viewing site. The viewing area is approximately six miles from the shuttle launch pads located directly on the banks of the Banana River. There is no seating and no covering, so we’ll just be there out in the open for several hours in the middle of the night, between all those poisenous snakes, scorpions and alligators! 😉
Fortunately you are allowed to bring folding chairs (only ones that go in a shoulder bag), so we’ll be able to sit. I’m sure it’ll be a magnificent view of the launch pad which will all be lit up at night. And we’ll see the sun come up as we’re sitting there in the middle of a huge nature reserve. It’ll be great!
What is strange is that our vehicle placard (above) says: “must arrive by or before this scheduled time” (2:30 AM) and the tickets (below) say: “please do not arrive at the KSCVC prior to the time listed on your vehicle placard”.
So I suppose we’ll have to be there EXACTLY at 2:30 ?! This is strange. I’ll have to call about this or read the instructions better. It all seems very strict. Due to heightened security since 9/11 they don’t let people drive on the causeway with their own cars anymore. It’s all handled with buses and time slots now.