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  1. #1
    Uncle Bob's Avatar
    Uncle Bob Guest

    Default I'd like to go see STS-117 launch Dec 7.

    Greets, me brudders.

    I am thinking of flying out to Florida to catch the Dec 7 STS-117 liftoff.
    I've never been out to the cape, but I bet some of you have. Any tips on
    the best places to watch a shuttle launch in person? How close can you get?
    A friend who was an AP photographer shot an Apollo liftoff. He said you
    could feel the pressure from the engine noise in your lungs. Is that true?
    I figure there aren't going to be many more shuttle launches, so I might
    as well catch one while they're still flying. Do you need ear protection?
    Diapers? Sedatives?
    Your advice is appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
    Uncle Bob
    Fairfax, CA.

  2. #2
    Uncle Bob's Avatar
    Uncle Bob Guest

    Default I'd like to go see STS-117 launch Dec 7 (correction STS 116!!)

    Make that STS-116. STS 117 is scheduled for Feb 07. Sorry for the
    brain fade. It's late.

    Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob wrote:

  3. #3
    Will Parr's Avatar
    Will Parr Guest

    Default I'd like to go see STS-117 launch Dec 7.

    Uncle Bob wrote:
    I've never been to a launch, but it's about even money for any launch to
    be delayed / re-scheduled due to poor weather or mechanical problems.
    Better plan to be in the area for at least a week and there's still a
    chance a launch delay could be longer than that. (Disney World and
    Universal Studios are about an hour away if you also like amusement parks.)

  4. #4's Avatar Guest

    Default I'd like to go see STS-117 launch Dec 7 (correction STS 116!!)

    See - someone just posted the Unofficial launch
    guides and shuttle manifest - they are full of good info. KMM


    Unofficial Space Shuttle Launch Guide
    Rev 18 Jul 2005 The following is the Unofficial Space Shuttle Launch
    Guide. This file contains information on how to get a launch or landing
    pass, and if you can't get one, where to view the shuttle for launch,
    re-entry or landing. This file also contains the distances to the pads
    from the various viewing sites,... more »
    by Steven S. Pietrobon - Oct 1 - 1 new of 1 message

    Unofficial Space Shuttle Manifest
    Rev 2 Oct 2006 The following is the Unofficial Space Shuttle
    Manifest. This file gives the launch dates, orbiter, and payloads for
    upcoming shuttle launches. The launch time and orbit parameters are
    also given where available. Note that the launch date and time are
    officially set about two weeks before launch at the... more »
    by Steven S. Pietrobon - Oct 1 - 1 new of 1 message

    Uncle Bob wrote:

  5. #5
    Sun_gaz_er's Avatar
    Sun_gaz_er Guest

    Default I'd like to go see STS-117 launch Dec 7.

    Hello, Bob.

    I went to STS - 110 (Atlantis) and STS -107 (last launch of Columbia).
    Atlantis scrubbed too many times and I had to leave the Cape but
    Columbia's launch went perfectly up until the foam strike. I must say
    that watching a manned space fight launch is well worth the effort.
    Here are a few tips that helped me:

    Be extremely flexible. Chances are that with a 10 minute launch window
    per day that it will take a few days to get it off the ground. Make
    your return flight as far past the launch date as possible and buy the
    type of ticket you can transfer to another date without restrictions.

    Try and get a press pass. This will get you 3 miles away as opposed to
    6 miles away for the paying crowd or 10 miles for the folks that watch
    in Titusville. Contact your representatives in Washington and ask if
    they can get you one. Contact the local newspapers to see if they'd
    like an article for their paper and can get one. If not, just bag it
    and buy a ticket from At 6 miles you can't
    feel the launch. Maybe at 3 miles.

    Wait to see the Hubble launch information. ISS rendezvous missions
    typically have 10 minute launch windows and will scrub if a big anvil
    clouds passes nearby during that time. Non-ISS launches used to have
    2.5 hour launch windows (the most NASA will allow the astronauts to lay
    on their backs) and made it much easier to launch in a single day.
    I'm not sure if the - soon to be announced - Hubble mission will have
    a longer launch window or not but it may make things easier.

    Arrive early. Show up a day early and check out the area you'll be at
    on launch day. Take the tour, talk to the bus drivers, ticket takers
    and information staff. Try and find out as much as possible about how
    the launch day will be run. Find out where you'll be parking on the
    next morning and how to get there. Show up two hours before the
    information tells you too. The idea is to get ahead of the 3000 other
    people doing the same thing as you.

    Watch the launch. Don't photograph it. You just went through all that
    work to see the shuttle launch, don't watch it through the viewfinder
    of a camera. There will be thousands of professional photos of your
    launch online. Make sure you see the launch with your eyes. I took
    along a pair of 20x80 Celestron binoculars and a tripod to watch as
    Columbia as it sat on the launch pad and as it cleared the tower. Once
    that happened, I stepped back and watched her roar into space at 1x. No
    need to worry about tracking it, centering the shot, or shutter speed.
    Just you and the shuttle. You'll be glad you did.

    A couple of other things: Bring wireless access if possible (cell
    phone, PDA). Try and get access to or the other live
    launch feeds. It's nice to know the status of the launch while
    you're waiting in line or to augment the NASA sound system at the
    viewing area.

    Be advised that the surrounding hotels fill up quick and jack up the
    price for launch days. The one I stayed in had a two day minimum for
    launches. Book early.

    I hope this helps. Please contact me through my website if need be.

    Best of luck,
    Greg P.
    Rockville, Md

  6. #6
    Rick Evans's Avatar
    Rick Evans Guest

    Default I'd like to go see STS-117 launch Dec 7.

    "Will Parr" <> wrote in message
    news:RohUg.25328$ .

    I think your even money odds for a launch are generous. ;-)
    Rick Evans
    Lat +42° 11' 07"
    Lon -71° 04' 35"

  7. #7
    Uncle Bob's Avatar
    Uncle Bob Guest

    Default I'd like to go see STS-117 launch Dec 7.

    Sun_gaz_er wrote:

    Hey, thanks a bunch for all the details. I'm looking forward to seeing
    this spectacle first hand.
    Football may be better on TV, but nothing beats being there for
    Your kind reponse is most appreciated.
    Regards and Clear Skies,
    Uncle Bob
    Fairfax, CA

  8. #8
    Starlord's Avatar
    Starlord Guest

    Default I'd like to go see STS-117 launch Dec 7.

    Hay, as the two parts are being built up in Mojave, I'm sure I'll get to see
    not only White Knight II but the maden flight of Spaceship II also.

    The Lone Sidewalk Astronomer of Rosamond

    Telescope Buyers FAQ
    Sidewalk Astronomy
    The Church of Eternity

    "Uncle Bob" <> wrote in message

  9. #9
    Gil's Avatar
    Gil Guest

    Default I'd like to go see STS-117 launch Dec 7.

    Want to know how I got my launch site pass for a launch? I called up
    the office of my representative in Congress. (Thank you, former US Rep.
    Sam Gedjenson). It was on a Wednesday, and we were leaving for Florida
    on Saturday morning.

    They had the pass sent overnight from KSC to Washington, and then
    overnight again from Washington to my place of work in Connecticut. The
    pass arrived Friday morning at work.

    Site pass lets you bring a vehicle into the base and they direct you to
    the public viewing area. I went with my sister and her husband, and my

    Saw the launch at 4:55 AM from the public viewing site. Launch window
    was only 6 minutes, so we were either gonna see it or not - right away.

    A great experience, and highly recommended.


    P.S. She's really not a monster.



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