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Rocket launch on 19th of January 2012

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Milan, Italy
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Rocket launch on 19th of January 2012

Hi there,

I checked on Kennedy Space Center website and I saw that the 19th of January the launch of a rocket is taking place.

www.kennedyspacecenter.com/event.aspx…

As I will be in Kennedy Space Center the 20th of January I'm considering the possibility to get there one day before.

Is the experience of watching a rocket launch live worth it?

Moreover, where is it possible to watch it launch? In tv I saw that when a shuttle launch people gather in a place where there is a count down...

I thank you in advance for your help. Regards

Alex

Edited: 30 December 2011, 08:12
Milan, Italy
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1. Re: Rocket launch on 19th of January 2012

Hi there,

I checked on Kennedy Space Center website and I saw that the 19th of January the launch of a rocket is taking place.

www.kennedyspacecenter.com/event.aspx…

As I will be in Kennedy Space Center the 20th of January I'm considering the possibility to get there one day before.

Is the experience of watching a rocket launch live worth it?

Moreover, where is it possible to watch it launch? In tv I saw that when a shuttle launch people gather in a place where there is a count down...

One last thing: I see from the website that the launch time is 7:38 - 9:11 PM EST, what does that mean? Will it launch at 7.30 or at 9 o'clock?

I thank you in advance for your help. Regards

Alex

Edited: 30 December 2011, 08:13
Cocoa Beach, Florida
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2. Re: Rocket launch on 19th of January 2012

A communications satellite is scheduled for launch into earth orbit on January 19, 2012 from complex 37B. This launch was already delayed twice, most recently from earlier this month.

The times given represent a "window", or a range of time, starting at 7:38 p.m. (19.38), and continuing until 9:11 p.m. (21.11) that evening. The EST is Eastern Standard Time, which is the prevailing time for Florida when daylight savings time is not in effect, so that is just the regular clock time in Florida; therefore, it will be a launch during the evening darkness. If the launch cannot be accomplished during this window of time, it will be rescheduled to another date. The new date could be the next day, as it often is for weather-related delays, or it could be weeks later if the cause is a mechanical or electrical fault.

Launch complex 37 is along the Atlantic Ocean to the northeast of the visitors' complex at the Kennedy Space Center -- actually on the adjacent Cape Canaveral Air Force Base. The visitors' complex is a good place to view the launch, and it would typically stay open beyond normal hours for that. You should confirm the opening hours of the complex closer to the January 19 date, but one strategy would be to be there on January 19 and stay late to watch from right there.

Actually, it is normally not necessary to have an admission ticket to watch a launch from the visitors' complex if you watch from the parking lot there without actually going in -- during times the complex is open. If you do go in, there will be a viewing area established, probably in the grassy area in the northeast corner of the complex. This is about as close as the public can get to the launch.

If the visitors' complex is not available, some people watch from Spaceview Park in Titusville.

Another alternative is to watch from a beach, as a nighttime launch is especially interesting when it is reflected on the ocean surface. Many people watch launches from the beaches at Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach, or even from the Cocoa Beach Pier. Be aware that the launch will seem to be slightly inland from those beaches, and will not be from one of the launch gantries clearly visible -- those are obsolete or have other uses. Also, you will not hear the launch as soon from the beaches, and the missile will be well up into the air before you hear anything at all.

The rocket vehicle used will be a Delta 4 with four additional solid booster engines. The satellite's communication abilities will enable improved worldwide voice and data transfer for the US military, including remote operation of unmanned drone aircraft around the world.

The visitor complex normally operates from 9 a.m. until either 6 p.m. or 8 p.m. In the past, there have been special promotions for up to $5 off the normal $43 ticket price, or a second day free within 7 days of first use, so check the website for details. A good source for information just prior to launch time is radio station WMEL, found at 1300 on the AM band.

To get to the visitors' complex from Orlando, take the Beachline Expressway (SR 528) east to SR 407, which takes you to Titusville, where you then take the NASA Causeway over the water to KSC. If you are going to the beaches, stay on SR 528 all the way to Cape Canaveral, right at the cruise ship port, where it turns south and becomes highway A1A. That road parallels the beaches to the east. SR 528 is a toll road, but cash is accepted at the booths.

Milan, Italy
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3. Re: Rocket launch on 19th of January 2012

Wow, you just told me everything I needed to know, but you forgot to reply to just one question ;) : is it worth it?

Chicago
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4. Re: Rocket launch on 19th of January 2012

A launch is like nothing else you've ever seen. If you are in the area, try and see it. Be prepared for dissappointment, if the launch is delayed or canceled for the day. Weather can be a factor.

A day trip from Orlando is easy and time spent at the space center complex is interesting as well.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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5. Re: Rocket launch on 19th of January 2012

Well, that's a personal judgment, but I think that it's worth it to see a launch into space at least once. With the space shuttle program ended, the unmanned launches are about the best you'll be able to see in Florida for a while. Actually, from our vacation home at Cocoa Beach, we could see both shuttles and satellites go up, and the best launches were actually the heavy rockets from complex 17, right on the water at night, clearly visible from the beach about 2-3 miles from our balcony.

The January 19 launch is a medium configuration Delta, but with four solid boosters it should still be a good show, especially at night. If you are in the area all the way from Milan and have a car, I would certainly make a 45-60 minute trip over from Orlando, recognizing the possibility that the launch could be delayed, especially if the weather has low clouds or lightning.

Bournemouth, United...
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6. Re: Rocket launch on 19th of January 2012

yes it was, i was there!

7. Re: Rocket launch on 19th of January 2012

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