For a long time I’ve wanted to go to Kennedy Space Center in Florida to see a shuttle launch, but from the Netherlands this was never practical as launches often get delayed. Since we’re living in Illinois I’ve tried to get tickets for the last couple of launches but was too late each time as tickets sell out fast. There are only eight missions left in the shuttle program (which ends in 2010), so time is running out to see a launch.
The closest and best place to view a launch is from the NASA Causeway just 6 miles from the launch pad. Today tickets for the causeway went on sale at 7:00 ET, so I refreshed the page right at 7 and quickly went through the ordering process. Within 30 minutes they were all sold out, so good thing I got them when I did; I am now the proud owner of two tickets for the launch of STS-127 on June 13th at 7:19am. 😀
From the Apollo era until 2002, NASA used to give out free passes for cars to access the causeway. Beginning four hours before each launch, you could just drive right to the causeway in your own car. For security reasons this was all changed in early 2002, and people (with tickets) are now brought to the causeway by bus. The last bus goes 2 hours before the launch time, so we’ll have to be there at least by 5:19am. Ouch!