Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 : CRS-12 : August 13, 2017 : LAUNCH VIEWING  (Read 5278 times)

Offline Michael Baylor

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There was a thread like this for CRS 10, but I can't seem to find a location mentioned on there that is ideal for the combination of launch and landing. The best idea seemed to be Jim's, but that required special access. I am not special. :P

CRS-10 viewing thread: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42220.0

Anyways, I have never seen a launch out of Florida before (only California). I am considering flying out to see CRS-12, and I need some help picking a spot to watch from.

Does anyone know of any good locations (open to the public of course) that split the distance between LZ-1 and Pad 39A? I saw this video on Youtube. From the NASA causeway.



Looks like a decent view of both launch and landing (especially minus the clouds). On Google Maps it splits the distance pretty evenly.

https://goo.gl/maps/ST51SWmP2Ux

Does anyone know if the NASA Causeway is accessible to the public? Can you walk down that road which cuts through the river? Additionally, are there any other good viewing areas that I should consider? Thanks!

Edited to correct my confusion. :P
« Last Edit: 07/31/2017 09:19 PM by Next Spaceflight »

Offline Arb

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Offline Michael Baylor

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Have you read http://www.launchphotography.com/Delta_4_Atlas_5_Falcon_9_Launch_Viewing.html
Yes, that was the first thing I read. Hmmm, the article states that "The NASA causeway (4 to 5 miles from landing depending on the area) is also good if ever offered and the best place for both launch and
landing combined."

I could be wrong (I don't know the area well lol), but it looks like that the point on Google Maps that I linked is the NASA causeway? If so does anyone know if it will be open?

Offline mdeep

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That is the NASA Causeway and it is not accessible to the public. You can only get there if you buy tickets, are credentialed media, or have a VIP hookup.
Mike

Offline Michael Baylor

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That is the NASA Causeway and it is not accessible to the public. You can only get there if you buy tickets, are credentialed media, or have a VIP hookup.
Does KSC typically sell tickets for 39A launches?

Edit: Looks like the answer has been no for the last few CRS missions. Well, that leaves Port Canaveral and the Jetty Park as the remaining options from that website, and they are very far from the launch pad. Is there anything else I should consider? If not I may just try to get close to 39A, as it might not be worth trying to see the landing up close.
« Last Edit: 07/23/2017 04:38 AM by Next Spaceflight »

Offline intrepidpursuit

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That is the NASA Causeway and it is not accessible to the public. You can only get there if you buy tickets, are credentialed media, or have a VIP hookup.
Does KSC typically sell tickets for 39A launches?

Edit: Looks like the answer has been no for the last few CRS missions. Well, that leaves Port Canaveral and the Jetty Park as the remaining options from that website, and they are very far from the launch pad. Is there anything else I should consider? If not I may just try to get close to 39A, as it might not be worth trying to see the landing up close.

The KSC visitor's center is run by a tourist attraction company and they offer ~$100 tickets to watch from the Saturn V center usually. That is not a terribly good place to watch though and not worth it IMHO.

You won't get on the barrier island in a good location for both.  Causeway is definitely best, but even my NASA friends can't get out there unless they actually need to be. Playalinda beach is the best place to watch the launch, the jetty is probably the best place to watch a landing. Exploration tower has a big silo blocking the view of the landing site. One of the parks along the Indian river will probably the best bet to see both well, though it is far.

Would love to go try Kings Park or something else on Merritt Island to see if there is a good hidden spot to watch, but you won't be able to see to the ground for either pad unless you get up high.

Offline Michael Baylor

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That is the NASA Causeway and it is not accessible to the public. You can only get there if you buy tickets, are credentialed media, or have a VIP hookup.
Does KSC typically sell tickets for 39A launches?

Edit: Looks like the answer has been no for the last few CRS missions. Well, that leaves Port Canaveral and the Jetty Park as the remaining options from that website, and they are very far from the launch pad. Is there anything else I should consider? If not I may just try to get close to 39A, as it might not be worth trying to see the landing up close.

The KSC visitor's center is run by a tourist attraction company and they offer ~$100 tickets to watch from the Saturn V center usually. That is not a terribly good place to watch though and not worth it IMHO.

You won't get on the barrier island in a good location for both.  Causeway is definitely best, but even my NASA friends can't get out there unless they actually need to be. Playalinda beach is the best place to watch the launch, the jetty is probably the best place to watch a landing. Exploration tower has a big silo blocking the view of the landing site. One of the parks along the Indian river will probably the best bet to see both well, though it is far.

Would love to go try Kings Park or something else on Merritt Island to see if there is a good hidden spot to watch, but you won't be able to see to the ground for either pad unless you get up high.
Thanks, this is very useful. Looks like seeing both is probably not going to happen, unless I want to be very far from the launch site.

I may just go to Playalinda beach. I live fairly close to Vandenberg, so I will save my landing experience for when they do a return to land out of CA. The landing zone is right next to the launch pad, so from the same location you should get an amazing view of both. You miss the first few seconds of liftoff and last few seconds of landing due to a hill, but at least you are very close. Seems to make sense to go for a close up pad view in Florida, as I may not get to see that again for a while.

Offline Rocket Guy

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The Saturn V Center is included with admission during normal hours for launches, or they charge $20 extra during after hours launches from what I have seen lately. The $100 is for the LC39 gantry for Atlas launches (and pad 40 launches); or rather, it is 49 on top of admission. If you get an annual pass you don't have to pay the full price every time either.

Offline intrepidpursuit

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The Saturn V Center is included with admission during normal hours for launches, or they charge $20 extra during after hours launches from what I have seen lately. The $100 is for the LC39 gantry for Atlas launches (and pad 40 launches); or rather, it is 49 on top of admission. If you get an annual pass you don't have to pay the full price every time either.

Usually it is included, but during launches they block it off and make it a separate $50 "transportation fee" in addition to the $50 entrance fee. They charge even more for the gantry, but that isn't applicable to current F9 launches since they don't open it up.

Offline Thorny

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Try the State Road 528 causeway over the Banana River just west of Port Canaveral. You'll be much closer to LZ-1 than if you go to Playalinda, but the Falcon 9 will drop behind obstructions in the last seconds before landing (that's true with viewing from almost everywhere though.)

Offline Michael Baylor

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : CRS-12 : August 14, 2017 : LAUNCH VIEWING
« Reply #10 on: 07/23/2017 04:43 PM »
The Saturn V Center is included with admission during normal hours for launches, or they charge $20 extra during after hours launches from what I have seen lately. The $100 is for the LC39 gantry for Atlas launches (and pad 40 launches); or rather, it is 49 on top of admission. If you get an annual pass you don't have to pay the full price every time either.
I am going to tour KSC while I am there, so paying the extra fee for the launch ticket is all I will need. That being said, it sounds like from the Saturn V Center you can't see much of the landing, and if so why not just go to the Playalinda beach?

Offline Rocket Guy

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : CRS-12 : August 14, 2017 : LAUNCH VIEWING
« Reply #11 on: 07/23/2017 11:14 PM »
Can't see much of it from there either. It's a tradeoff when it comes to getting a good view of landing vs good view of launch. The best bet for both in terms of a clear shot is the Port area.

Offline leetdan

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : CRS-12 : August 14, 2017 : LAUNCH VIEWING
« Reply #12 on: 07/24/2017 06:40 AM »
SR 401 along the north edge of the Port is my new go-to.  Depending on where you park you can see the rocket sitting on the pad, and of course you're quite close to the landing.

Offline Michael Baylor

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : CRS-12 : August 14, 2017 : LAUNCH VIEWING
« Reply #13 on: 07/24/2017 09:25 PM »
SR 401 along the north edge of the Port is my new go-to.  Depending on where you park you can see the rocket sitting on the pad, and of course you're quite close to the landing.
Ok, this is why I made this thread. Very good advice! I found a video on Youtube of this location and I am quite impressed. If it was a clear day, this would have been a sensational view. Even with the clouds it was still amazing. I think this is probably where I will try to go. Thanks again!


Offline Wolfram66

SR 401 along the north edge of the Port is my new go-to.  Depending on where you park you can see the rocket sitting on the pad, and of course you're quite close to the landing.
Ok, this is why I made this thread. Very good advice! I found a video on Youtube of this location and I am quite impressed. If it was a clear day, this would have been a sensational view. Even with the clouds it was still amazing. I think this is probably where I will try to go. Thanks again!



These are my pics from Atlas V 551 MUOS4 from just outside CCAFB south entrance on 401. they have bleachers as well. **Note you can see the 5 solids just after separation in a pentagonal pattern in 2nd image.

Offline intrepidpursuit

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : CRS-12 : August 14, 2017 : LAUNCH VIEWING
« Reply #15 on: 07/24/2017 10:49 PM »
SR 401 along the north edge of the Port is my new go-to.  Depending on where you park you can see the rocket sitting on the pad, and of course you're quite close to the landing.
Ok, this is why I made this thread. Very good advice! I found a video on Youtube of this location and I am quite impressed. If it was a clear day, this would have been a sensational view. Even with the clouds it was still amazing. I think this is probably where I will try to go. Thanks again!

These are my pics from Atlas V 551 MUOS4 from just outside CCAFB south entrance on 401. they have bleachers as well. **Note you can see the 5 solids just after separation in a pentagonal pattern in 2nd image.

They close off the bleachers during F9 launches. They are right outside of the SpaceX LCC. At least they have recently. The beach along the river isn't bad though, but crowded.

Offline Rocket Guy

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : CRS-12 : August 14, 2017 : LAUNCH VIEWING
« Reply #16 on: 07/24/2017 11:20 PM »


Usually it is included, but during launches they block it off and make it a separate $50 "transportation fee" in addition to the $50 entrance fee. They charge even more for the gantry, but that isn't applicable to current F9 launches since they don't open it up.

That is not correct. Saturn V Center is never more than 20 extra that I have ever seen, and the LC39 gantry 50. Never seen it more or less since they started two years ago.
« Last Edit: 07/24/2017 11:22 PM by Rocket Guy »

Offline deruch

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : CRS-12 : August 13, 2017 : LAUNCH VIEWING
« Reply #17 on: 08/03/2017 12:39 AM »
While Playalinda Beach has been open for the most recent F9 launches from LC-39A, it may not be open for CRS launches due to the more northerly trajectory vs. the due east launches for recent GTO missions.  Anyone considering viewing from there should be sure to double check on its status on launchday for the most up-to-date information and/or plan a backup viewing location in the event it is closed.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline jacqmans

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : CRS-12 : August 13, 2017 : LAUNCH VIEWING
« Reply #18 on: 08/06/2017 09:10 AM »
Launch Viewing for SpaceX CRS-12

View the August 13 launch from Kennedy Space Center!

Don’t miss the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center’s LC-39A! CRS-12 is carrying the Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). This is the twelfth resupply mission by SpaceX for NASA in support of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program. The Falcon 9 rocket’s reusable first stage will attempt a controlled landing on Landing Zone 1 (LZ1) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

 Kennedy Space Center offers unparalleled rocket launch views. Launch viewing opportunities from the visitor complex for CRS-12 are available at the following locations:
•Apollo/Saturn V Center, approximately 3.9 miles/6.27 kilometers from launch pad – first come, first served
•The main visitor complex outside of Space Shuttle Atlantis®, approximately 7.5 miles/ 12 kilometers from launch pad

Rocket Launch Location

The main visitor complex viewing area and the Apollo/Saturn V Center are included with daily admission and do not require an additional ticket. Viewing at the Apollo/Saturn V Center will remain open until capacity is reached.


https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/tickets.aspx?keyword=Daily%20Admission&spMailingID=30054089&spUserID=MTE1Njg5MDk1MDI1S0&spJobID=1100474128&spReportId=MTEwMDQ3NDEyOAS2
« Last Edit: 08/06/2017 09:10 AM by jacqmans »

Offline octavo

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : CRS-12 : August 13, 2017 : LAUNCH VIEWING
« Reply #19 on: 08/06/2017 10:28 AM »
Launch Viewing for SpaceX CRS-12

View the August 13 launch from Kennedy Space Center!

Don’t miss the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center’s LC-39A! CRS-12 is carrying the Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). This is the twelfth resupply mission by SpaceX for NASA in support of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program. The Falcon 9 rocket’s reusable first stage will attempt a controlled landing on Landing Zone 1 (LZ1) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

 Kennedy Space Center offers unparalleled rocket launch views. Launch viewing opportunities from the visitor complex for CRS-12 are available at the following locations:
•Apollo/Saturn V Center, approximately 3.9 miles/6.27 kilometers from launch pad – first come, first served
•The main visitor complex outside of Space Shuttle Atlantis, approximately 7.5 miles/ 12 kilometers from launch pad

Rocket Launch Location

The main visitor complex viewing area and the Apollo/Saturn V Center are included with daily admission and do not require an additional ticket. Viewing at the Apollo/Saturn V Center will remain open until capacity is reached.


https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/tickets.aspx?keyword=Daily%20Admission&spMailingID=30054089&spUserID=MTE1Njg5MDk1MDI1S0&spJobID=1100474128&spReportId=MTEwMDQ3NDEyOAS2
This post and accompanied map both incorrectly refer to LC-39A. It should of course be HLC-39A or more correctly historic LC-39A

Offline Antares

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : CRS-12 : August 13, 2017 : LAUNCH VIEWING
« Reply #20 on: 08/10/2017 06:03 PM »
How is Jetty Park for seeing LZ-1?
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline intrepidpursuit

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : CRS-12 : August 13, 2017 : LAUNCH VIEWING
« Reply #21 on: 08/10/2017 06:37 PM »
How is Jetty Park for seeing LZ-1?

I haven't tried that yet so I'm curious as well. You'd have to get onto the pier itself because the breakwater itself is high enough to block the view from elsewhere in the park. There are pictures from shuttle launches that make the view look pretty good, though there is still a tree line that won't allow you to follow it all the way down. Haven't found any spot that can actually see LZ-1 though anyway.