Saturday, August 26, 2006

NASA Shuttle Launch Viewing

I had the big plan tomorrow to drive out to the Kennedy Space Center to watch the Shuttle launch. However, the STS-115 launch was pushed back to Monday, so I can't go.

Actually I probably could show up to work Monday and plead for time off to zip out to watch this. But, there is no guarentee it will launch then either, since the weather has been a little iffy. Obviously nobody can predict exactly when the launch will occur, and I'm starting to realize if I really want to watch it go, from the viewing areas on the KSC grounds, I would need to make a major event of it - i.e. take a few days off. Anyway, I'll see how it is Monday, if the weather is good and the launch looks likely, I might bring it up with my boss.

The ticket I bought is good throughout the launch window, which is August 27 through September 13. It would be most convenient if the launch gets pushed back all the way to next weekend. ;) If I can't go I forfeit the ticket, since it is non-refundable non-transferable and so forth.

Watching a launch is a bit cumbersome. I have to arrive in a one hour time window (11:30 am to 12:30 pm) for an expected 4:30 pm launch. I can't leave until 1 hour after launch. It takes about an hour to get out to KSC, but with the extra traffic from spectators, that might go up to 2 hours one way. Thus watching a launch from KSC could literally be an all-day affair from 10:00 am when I have to leave to KSC, until 8:00 pm or so when I would return home.

I'm sure it is cool to watch a launch in person, but I'm leaning towards just catching on TV or the NASA cable channel, if I were inclined to see it.

Anyway, the packet that arrived with my ticket included a bright orange parking pass. It looks kinda cool. On the back is a little notice "U.S. Government Property... Illegal to counterfeit or alter... violation of Section 499, Title 18, U.S. Code... This permit may be kept as a souvenir." I think that wording is fuuny.

Entry Pass

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