Last space shuttle Discovery launch

It didn’t take me that long to make a decision about making a trip to the east coast – to Florida’s Space Coast. My son seems to be very interesting in space engineering and that was an opportunity for him to see the last take-off of the retiring space shuttle Discovery.

So we left on Thursday morning and had a smooth ride until we reached Titusville. It took us quite a while to get to the downtown Main Street where we were planning to park the car and wait for the launch.

Of course there were no parking spots available but since I can be pretty persistent, I kept driving around until we found a private property that cost us $40 to park on. Later on the parking fee proved itself to be well worth paying because there was a bathroom right on the spot, my car was parked in the shade and we had plenty of space to choose from where we wanted to sit down and enjoy the spectacle.
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Place in Titusville, right across from Kennedy Space Center

Place in Titusville, right across from Kennedy Space Center

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There was a pier and plenty of comfortable places to sit or walk around the pool – or to simply stay in the shade of the old oak and palm trees. At one time I glimpsed to the left and noticed people packed like sardines at another spot close by. Some were standing in the water – which, by the way is still freezing cold at this time of the year – but I believe that was much more comfortable than the shore.
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Packed like sardines in Titusville on Thursday, March 24, 2011 for the last space shuttle Discovery launch

Packed like sardines in Titusville on Thursday, March 24, 2011 for the last space shuttle Discovery launch

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We had a great view of the Kennedy Space Center – the only problem was that we were not completely sure where the Discovery was going to be launched from. While waiting, I heard other people discussing the same issue so we made a couple of guesses – and were still surprised when the launch finally happened.
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View of the Kennedy Space Center from Titusville, Florida

View of the Kennedy Space Center from Titusville, Florida

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Discovery launch big business for Space Coast

By Margaret Kavanagh, Reporter

TITUSVILLE — Big crowds packed Brevard County this entire weekend after the successful launch of Discovery on Thursday.

Experts said many of those tourists lingered around and spent lots of money in Central Florida.

Tourism leaders estimate that there were well over 300,000 people in town.

The big crowds brought in big bucks for businesses, including the Cocoa Beach Pier.

They said a typical launch will have an economic impact between $4 and $5 million, however they think the crowds drew double that amount during the launch of Discovery.

“It’s amazing. I think the next launch, I think we’ll double this one,” said Ex. Director of Space Coast Tourism Rob Varley.

Tourism officials hope to the start of new events on the Space Coast will help compensate with the retirement of the shuttle program happening later this year.

Space shuttle Discovery's liftoff is reflected in the water as it roars off to the International Space Station. (Photo: NASA / Sandra Joseph / Kevin O'Connell)

Space shuttle Discovery's liftoff is reflected in the water as it roars off to the International Space Station. (Photo: NASA / Sandra Joseph / Kevin O'Connell)

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Below is the video of the Discovery’s last launch I took from Titusville. It was something very special about being there and observing the people’s anticipation first and then hearing everyone cheer and clap after the launch was successful.
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Last but not least, to see everything from up close as seen on NASA TV, click the play button on this last video.

 

With the STS-133 crew in tow, space shuttle Discovery lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24. at 4:53 p.m. Eastern — her final ride to the International Space Station. In addition to transporting Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe, and Mission Specialists Nicole Stott, Michael Barratt, Alvin Drew, and Steve Bowen, Discovery also carries the Express Logistics Carrier-4, and Robonaut 2, the first robot of its kind to fly into and work in space.

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About the author

Daria

Most of all Daria enjoys creating, designing, taking photos of, writing about and sharing all the beautiful, cheerful things and moments. She finds them everywhere she goes. And tons of fun people, too!

7comments
BOB JERGEL - February 28, 2011

the shuttle launches are special events. happy that you and erik were able to see the launch from a point of good advantage

Reply
    Daria - February 28, 2011

    Thank you Bob, if it wasn’t for Erik, I would probably never choose to go to an event like that. The funny thing is that I very much enjoyed it. We had a wonderful time!

    Reply
Erik Perse - February 28, 2011

Yeah it was pretty fantastic. Taking your advice about what to study, and working hard as usual. Thanks for all the advice Bob.

Reply
Vesna - March 4, 2011

Čudovito!Lep posnetek Daria, še lepši pa občutek, da lahko nekaj takega spremljaš v živo.Odlično ti gre.Kar tako naprej.Upam, da bomo tudi v Sloveniji imeli kdaj kaj podobnega, na kar bomo zelo ponosni! Pozdrav v Ameriko!

Reply
    Daria - March 8, 2011

    Hvala Vesna, biti tam in videti zadeve v zivo je res bilo nekaj posebnega. Lep pozdrav vsem v Sloveniji!

    Reply
Margaretta Mckitrick - August 10, 2011

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