Tips on watching a shuttle launch in Florida

How appropriate. STS-122 was suppose to launch today but since it didn’t let’s talk about tips for watching a shuttle launch, should you decide to go watch one in person.

These tips are from the mouths of veteran shuttle launch viewers (compliments of a forum on

1. Be prepared not to get too disappointed when they scrub a launch.

2. Be sure to take in the sights before/after the launch.

3. Wear dark glasses, even if it is cloudy or night – the SRB plume will hurt your eyes if you don’t.

4. Don’t stand up against a building. The vibration will loosen all of the dirt and bird detritus off the building and it will come floating down on your head.

5. Don’t get too wrapped up in taking pix during the launch. Just watch it and let it wash over you while taking it all in. Shuttles are up and gone so fast that there are only a few seconds to experience the sight, sound, and vibration.

6. If you are taking pix during the launch, use a polarizing filter to knock down the glare from the SRB plume.

7. Plan a launch viewing at the beginning of a several day stay, so you have time built in for a 24 or 48 hour scrub.

8. Try to see a daytime launch. It’s easier to see than at night.

9. Eat a good breakfast. Get there early and expect bad traffic.

10. Keep watching after the solid rocket boosters separate.

11. Keep listening. Listen to any official announcements and of intelligent people around talk about the NASA-speak.

12. Take a big bag with you to contain: towel, sunscreen, book, bottled water, light jacket, camera equipment, rain ponchos, but pack light.
More tips coming soon……

Picture: Launch of STS-120 October 23, 2007

Image credit: NASA


~ by tellinghistory on December 29, 2007.

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