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Author Topic: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007  (Read 6309 times)

UK-RV

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Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« on: December 05, 2006, 06:52:26 AM »
Hi Guys

We were planning to leave Florida and head north a little way for the month of March, ready to leave the RV at the Jacksonville docks for 2nd week in April.

However, Ive noticed there is a Space Shuttle launch "scheduled" for March 16th 2007.

As the shuttles are being retired soon, this will be our only chance to see a launch so we think it will be worth it to reschedule a little bit.

1) Do you guys that follow these things think it worth booking a CG in the hope that it will launch on/around the 16th ?

2) Where is going to be the best place to view - which allows us to prebook a site (which are probably all booked by now anyway LOL)

Thanks !!

Paul

Ned

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2006, 07:04:03 AM »
Some of the TGO folks will have suggestions for camping, but shuttle launches are often delayed, sometimes for days, so don't count on it being on schedule.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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UK-RV

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2006, 07:09:25 AM »

Sorry Ned, my mistake.

I should have said we would book in somewhere for a couple of days before and upto a week after - do you think this would cover it ?

Paul

Jim Dick

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2006, 07:13:49 AM »
Paul,

Shuttle launches almost never take off on time. If you are in FL now there is one scheduled for launch on Thursday. We have found the best place to watch is along Rt. 1 in Titusville. Get there fairly early to find a place to park. This is a night launch and they are really worth seeing. Another spot to watch is on the causeway to the National Seashore. That is Rt. 406. Just over the Indian River there is a park and you have a pretty good view of the launch pad. It's still about 10 miles away! We took our coach over there for a night launch and parked for the night. It was nice not having to fight the traffic after the launch. Again, not a lot of room considering the hundreds that want to be there. We're helping at a food tent for this launch because our Navy League group was asked to help out. That should get us a prime spot to watch this launch.

As far as campgrounds go I would say TGO would be a good bet but reserve early. I'd offer our spot but we'll most likely still be here at that time.
Jim

Titusville, Florida
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UK-RV

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2006, 07:32:12 AM »
Thanks Jim

Can you see the launch from any of the CGs or do you have to drive out ?

Ive seen these CGs and wonder if you can see from any of these ?

http://www.campingspacecoast.com/rv_tent/manatee.htm#RATES

http://www.seasonsinthesunrvresort.com/rates.html

http://www.tgoresort.com/ - I think this is where you're at?

I did read of a farmer/landowner who sells spaces on his field which have a good view - any idea on that one ?

Thanks
Paul

PS I appreciate the view will be something from 10 miles out - especially at night - but anything closer (allowing for the increased security) ?


UK-RV

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2006, 07:53:36 AM »

Ive just noticed these tickets available from the Visitor Center - HERE

They give the full Visitor Center Tour (normally $35) and then a bus to a viewing area (HERE), which is 6 miles from the Launch Pad.

Cost is $51 each ($35 Visitor Center & $16 bus)

Anyone tried it before or think it worthwhile.

Thanks
Paul



BruceinFL

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2006, 01:14:08 PM »
Ive just noticed these tickets available from the Visitor Center - HERE

They give the full Visitor Center Tour (normally $35) and then a bus to a viewing area (HERE), which is 6 miles from the Launch Pad.

Cost is $51 each ($35 Visitor Center & $16 bus)

Anyone tried it before or think it worthwhile.

Thanks
Paul

That's a great spot. Close to where all the big mucky mucks see the launch. Think I'll try it myself.  ;D  There are free spots with good views, but you have to get there early, etc. and if the launch is delayed try it all over again. Buying the ticl\ket will avoid the hassle and you also get into the Visitor Center which is a neat place.
Bruce A.
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Jim Dick

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2006, 07:10:08 AM »
Paul,

Manatee is on the river and you should be able to  see the launch though you will be below the access to the visitors center and most likely won't see the shuttle until it's off the pad. Seasons in the Sun is in Mims and much further away. Not a good viewing area. TGO is about 4 miles from the Indian River and you won't see anything until it is off the pad. The best place is on the Indian River anywhere from  Rt. 406 to just south of Rt. 50. Right near 406 is Veteran's Park which is an excellent spot. Last year they had a live broadcast of the countdown so one could tell if it was on time or not. One of the big problems is they postpone for any little anomaly and you won't know it. No matter what problems might occur it is definitely worth attending a launch, especially a night launch.

One thing to keep in mind is the traffic in Titusville increases about 100 fold for a launch. Get there early to ensure a spot to park and a place to watch it. 

We just found out last night at the Navy League Christmas party that we have to be at the KSC visitor's center by 2:00pm on Thursday to help with the food vending. The launch is 9:38pm!! That's going to be a very long day. We won't see it as well as from the river and probably won't get off the island until midnight!!!
Jim

Titusville, Florida
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Jim Dick

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2006, 07:11:20 AM »
Ive just noticed these tickets available from the Visitor Center - HERE

They give the full Visitor Center Tour (normally $35) and then a bus to a viewing area (HERE), which is 6 miles from the Launch Pad.

Cost is $51 each ($35 Visitor Center & $16 bus)

Anyone tried it before or think it worthwhile.

Thanks
Paul

Paul,

You can't get any closer than that!!!!

Jim

Titusville, Florida
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2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
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Ned

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2006, 07:37:23 AM »
One of the big problems is they postpone for any little anomaly and you won't know it.

On advantage of being in an RV is you can watch the NASA channel on your satellite TV and see the actual countdown while waiting for the launch.  For those of us 3000 miles away, it's the only way we can see a launch :)  With the excellent cameras, we get to see more detail than you folks 4 miles away, but we don't get the earthquake and noise.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Mike (ex-f-221)

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2006, 07:44:50 AM »
For those of us more than 3000 miles away and not within the beam of the satellite http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html is the only way we can see a launch
Mike Muellner
Bremerhaven, Germany

Ned

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2006, 08:01:42 AM »
Mike, thanks for the reminder that if you have internet access, preferably broadband, you can watch NASATV for the launches too.  I did that before we got the NASA channel.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Jim Dick

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2006, 05:37:35 PM »
Ned,

If we weren't helping out with the food services I'd seriously consider drivng the coach over to the causeway to the seashore. Park there overnight, watch the countdown on NASA tv and then step out and view the launch. We did that about 4 years ago.
Jim

Titusville, Florida
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Ken & Sheila

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2006, 09:43:16 PM »
We haven't seen a shuttle laucnch since dry camping on the Indian River in March 06. Parked the MH on the grass facing the river. We did have to pay the lot owning $15. We went to bed and got up a 2:30 to make coffee and get ready for the launch. It wa cold and a lot of people were camping out in the cars. The launch was a little after 3am as I remember.

Sheila and I sat warm in our coach drinking coffee in the front seat until just before the launch. Great sight to see.

Hopefully in a couiple of years will get a chance to go back.

ken
Ken & Sheila
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Jim Dick

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2006, 06:56:12 AM »
Ken,

You better hurry back. They won't be flying too many more years. Mission was scrubbed at the very last minute. They didn't tell us there was nothing to eat at the Hall of Fame. We got there around 3:30 and got home around 10:00! They chose not to go last night which I think was a mistake. It was a pretty clear night with no wind. Now they say it might be stormy tonight and may not fly again!
Jim

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BernieD

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2006, 08:12:51 AM »
Jim

I believe I heard that the mission was scrubbed because of bad weather at all of the emergency landing sites.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Jeff

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2006, 08:56:05 AM »
It seems hard to believe it has been that long but we were on our way to Florida with our three kids and a Rotary Exchange student from Australia in April, 2001. The shuttle was scheduled for launch on Saturday morning and we were going to miss it as we left Illinois after work Friday. When we heard the launch was postponed 24 hours we headed south in a hurry and pulled up on an overpass on I-95 opposite the Cape, climbed up on the roof and listened to the last 5 minutes of the countdown.

I will never forget the sound as the solid boosters added to the main engines snapped, crackled, and popped during those first couple of minutes of the ascent. We must have been 10-15 miles away but it seemed like we were a few thousand feet!

A sight we will all remember forever.


Ken & Sheila

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2006, 01:04:24 PM »
Jim,

Fall 2009 is probably the earliest we'll get to Florida.

Are you two still planning on coming west next winter?

ken


Ken & Sheila
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Jim Dick

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2006, 07:37:07 AM »
Bernie,

There was a concern for the landing area in Spain. However they had predicted bad weather at KSC as well. Turns out it wasn't. Discovery lifted off last night without a hitch. Another spectacular display of pirotechnics unmatched by anything else!! It will be a sad day when we can no longer watch such an event.  The next generation of shuttles may be horizontally launched which will eliminate the spectacular event we have today.

We saw a mockup of the new engine at Huntsville. We were told it now costs $10,000/lb to put a payload into space. The new generation shuttle will only cost $1,000/lb. Quite a savings!
Jim

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Jim Dick

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2006, 07:39:11 AM »
Jeff,

You were probably very close to our exit off I95! There's certainly nothing I can think of that rivals that spectacle!
Jim

Titusville, Florida
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Jim Dick

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2006, 07:43:53 AM »
Ken,

We are still hoping to make it out west next winter but it will depend upon a lot of other things. How much I work this summer will be one determining factor as well as the cost of fuel.

If we could rent the lot it would help a lot but we no longer can obtain liability insurance. We used to get it through the rental pool but they stopped offering it to anyone that doesn't put the lot into the pool. An owner doesn't get much when renting that wayl. I would hate to rent to a stranger, have them get hurt, sue us and we lose the property. We're fine when we are here as we have the insurance through the coach.
Jim

Titusville, Florida
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Jim Dick

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2006, 07:51:05 AM »
Paul,

After working at the Astronaut Hall of Fame manning the soda/snack trailer I want to warn you to BRING YOUR OWN FOOD!!!! The cost of food at these places is highway robbery. We had to be there by 3:30 for a 9:30 launch. Nobody told us that there was no food available at the Hall of Fame. We didn't get to eat until we got home around 10:30.  We sold soda, water, and those tiny bags of chips and pretzels. The soda/water was $2.89/20oz bottle and the chips were $2.22!!! I understand the hot dogs/ hamburgers at the KSC visitor's center were as ridiculously priced

Also, if you do take the KSC package you will have a very long trip out of there after the launch. Traffic for this one was especially bad because it was a night launch. Last night when it went off we weren't at the Hall of Fame but down on the river at Veteran's Park. It wasn't a bad trip back at all as we know a couple of back roads. Whatever you decide don't miss the launch. They are worth it and they won't be here too many more years. The shuttles are due for retirement in 2010. If they have another accident I would expect that will end it all together.
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Ken & Sheila

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2006, 02:58:27 PM »
Jim,

We have several lot owners at Happy Trails that won't rent their lots for the same reason. Here if you have a Storage shed (Permanent structure) on the lot you can get insurance.

Hope you make it to Arizona.

ken
Ken & Sheila
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2008 Jeep Liberty, 2006 Saturn Vue
Fur-ball kids: Ariel and Mia

UK-RV

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2006, 04:20:11 PM »

Jim

After starting this thread - can you believe we didn't even manage to get NASA TV and didn't have internet either, so we missed the launch !! (had to see it on a news report later).

We are only around 100 miles away as well - we were tempted to drive the RV over but thought it would be a bit crowded by the time we got there at 11am ish and couldn't figure if we would be able to camp overnight on the roadside?

Re the price of the food - we would think to take our own, but the website states "No Backpacks" etc so it rules out taking too much stuff.

I need to find out what they provide at the viewing site - whether it is standing (and we can take a small chair) or whether they provide some sort of seating etc

Just watching the KSC website every day now to see when the tickets go on sale for the March launch.

Paul



Ned

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2006, 04:43:43 PM »
You should have been able to see the launch even from 100 miles away.  We saw one from Ft. Lauderdale even with an overcast.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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PancakeBill

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2006, 09:50:32 AM »
We had just returned from a cruise and didn't realize it was going on Sat, but you cann see the launch from our home in Zephyrhills.  Our neighbors all watched.  I think we were sleeping. 

July 4th we drive over, a friend lives nearby, we went to his house and parked, then rode with him to a good view spot on the water.  You could see the pad.  Got video and stills of it.  What a great experience!

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

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Jim Dick

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2006, 12:49:04 PM »
Ken,

Here we must have "living quarters" in the building, aka bath and kitchen facilities to qualify. New rules here now as well. A "screen room" can be as large as you want as long as you don't violate the 60/40 rule of concrete vs. lawn. The Florida room can be up to 308 sq. ft. Shed can be 120 sq. ft. Other areas in the park vary depending upon the size of the lots. Seems like they change every year!!!!

We hope we make it to AZ next year.
Jim

Titusville, Florida
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2012 GMC Terrain
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http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Jim Dick

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2006, 01:00:26 PM »
Paul,

Sometimes it's difficult to remember everything. :) I'm watching the NASA channel right now. They are docking just after 5pm tonight.

If you had arrived at 11am you would have been OK. Spots on the river, at least in one location, are $15 for an RV. You would be looking right at the launch pad about 12 miles away. Good binoculers will provide an excellent view at launch. Heck, it's even great without them!!  Parrish Park, where we spent the night on a previous launch, is free. That will fill up fairly early I'm sure. There is a 24 hour rule in Titusville. You can park in the legal areas for 24 hours prior to a launch and 24 hours after the launch. If it is delayed, you can stay there until the launch is successful. At least that's what I have been told by a local resident who has been here longer than we have. :)

I would hope a small hand bag with food would be allowed but one never knows. I saw backpacks at the museum but they are much more careful at KSC visitor's center. If you were to come over here a few days before the launch and obtain a site to park the rig I'm sure you would be able to find a good viewing spot on the river if you didn't want to spend the money for the tour. It the March launch is in the daytime there probably won't be quite as many people as a night launch. How about coming over for a couple of days sometime soon and we'll show you around. Then you can make up your mind what you might want to do in March? Right now there are a couple of lots near us that are not rented. I have no idea if the owners will rent for a couple of days but we could always ask.

If you have any other questions let me know. Perhaps we can find the answers.
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Alaskansnowbirds

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2006, 10:53:45 PM »
There's certainly nothing I can think of that rivals that spectacle!

How about being 75 yards away when a Polaris missile breaks the surface coming up out of a sub?

Been there, done that!!  ;D  ;D
Don & Peg
Alaska/Arizona
Currently located here.
Weather at Camp Verde, AZ.

Jim Dick

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Re: Space Shuttle Atlantis - March 16th 2007
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2006, 07:26:40 AM »
How about being 75 yards away when a Polaris missile breaks the surface coming up out of a sub?

Been there, done that!!  ;D  ;D

Don,

Not many of us have that opportunity!! ;D ;D I'll bet the shuttle would dwarf even that event though I'm sure it is spectacular in itself. Now if I could get on our Son's ship when they fire a cruise missle....... ;D
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

 

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