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Atlantis shuttle lauch

Hopkinsville, KY
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Atlantis shuttle lauch

I just read that the last shuttle launch is scheduled for July 8. I will be staying at Cocoa Beach Towers and wanted more info like the time for the launch and will I be able to view it from the beach? Any info or web site you can give me would be helpful.

Palm Coast, Florida
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1. Re: Atlantis shuttle lauch

You will be able to see it from the beach. It goes up about 11:30am www.nasa.gov

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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2. Re: Atlantis shuttle lauch

We'll be just a few blocks north of you, watching from the balcony of another building, where we have a direct line-of-sight to the shuttle launch pad. Hopefully it will go as scheduled; we've been down before and had to go back several times without seeing it because of delays. We've also been able to see it a few times, and it's an impressive sight.

Remember, that from the beach at CB Towers, the shuttle will ascend from a point over the buildings, not from the gantries you can see across the water. If you look around the east end of the Michelina building (two blocks north of Young Avenue, and just north of the Discovery Beach Resort), the shuttle will arise from around there.

The sound will take about 70 seconds to reach you, so you won't even know it has launched until you see it coming above the residences. By the time you hear it, it will be well up in the air. It's best to have a radio to keep track of the countdown.

Edited: 28 June 2011, 20:15
Hopkinsville, KY
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3. Re: Atlantis shuttle lauch

At Cocoa Beach Towers the building is angled on the beach so all balconies face the beach at an angle. However, the back balcony faces the north towards Cape Canaveral and the buildings are not in the way like on the beach. I was wondering if the 5th floor facing that direction instead of on the beach would give me the view I need to see it well. I have used binoculars to try to see. I can see a building with NASA on it and two tall concrete structures and another structure I'm not sure what is. Any further info would be appreciated.

4. Re: Atlantis shuttle lauch

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Cocoa Beach, Florida
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5. Re: Atlantis shuttle lauch

I've never been in your building, so it is difficult for me to determine if you would actually be able to see the pad itself from your balcony. If you can see the VAB, with the flag, you should certainly have as good, or a better, view of the launch than from the beach, especially if you are on an upper floor. Just be sure that you also have a view of the sky downrange, so you can follow and photograph the STS as it ascends.

Your perspective may be slightly different than ours, and more dependent on how far east or west you are in your building. We cannot see the pad from our east (beachside) balcony because of other buildings, but can easily watch it from our west balcony only 90 feet away. On the other hand, the Delta launches are best seen from the east balcony.

From our location, the pad is just to the left of the 6-floor gray building with the twin gables (Cocoa Beach Club on Ridgewood Avenue), marked by a t-shaped power/light pole. The best time to establish the exact location through binoculars would be at night, when the STS will be illuminated and easier to find. If you can't find it, it may be out of view, but I wouldn't get too concerned because the pad will be enveloped by exhaust and steam upon ignition, and the STS will not be visible until it comes out of that cloud a few seconds later.

If you have access to Google Earth or a similar mapping program with satellite views, try to draw a straight line from your location in CBT to the launch pad, and see which buildings might be in the way. One of the reasons we have a good view from Cocoa Beach is that 90% of the direct line of sight is over the water of the Banana River lagoon.

Of course, all of this may be moot if the weather doesn't cooperate (have a look outside this morning). Even if the launch goes, a low cloud cover can limit the amount of viewing time to as little as 10-15 seconds. I'm reminded of the photo taken by a woman on a passenger jet over Orlando, who got a shot of the STS emerging from the clouds below into the blue skies above. Of course, to us on the ground, it was no longer visible, and there was no opportunity to see much of the ascent or the SRB separations. People who were farther away weren't able to see much of anything.

Along with about a million visitors, let's hope for the best.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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6. Re: Atlantis shuttle lauch

I took a drive past your building this afternoon. It appears that the balconies outside the front doors on the units on the upper floors of the west end of the CBT building may be able to see the launch pad. The ones on the east end are probably blocked by the Discovery Beach Resort and Michelina buildings to your north. However, after the first minute or so, it is possible that the view of the ascent may be blocked by the Discovery Beach, because the shuttle will be moving east.

From the north balcony at the west end of CBT, look at the horizon at a point above the parking lot (between the tennis court and the building) at Discovery Beach. That's my best guess of where the launch pad is, relative to you. However, not being up there myself, it's just a guess.

Hopkinsville, KY
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7. Re: Atlantis shuttle lauch

Thank you so much. You have been very helpful not only to me but to other guests staying here who thought it would be launching from the same pad as the rockets. This site is great for getting 1st hand helpful answers.

8. Re: Atlantis shuttle lauch

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Removed on: 07 October 2012, 11:18