Monday, September 17, 2007
viewing a space shuttle launch..
As some of you know, I am addicted to astronomy and space travel. Since long, I'd wanted to experience a space shuttle launch. Last summer, I got tickets for the STS-115 mission. I went down to Florida, went through a hurricane and ... had to leave without the shuttle being launched. Well, actually I could view it rocketing into space from far away (Fort Myers) when I had to leave home. That was really bad luck.
Unfortunately, I either could not go for the next missions or I didn't manage to get tickets (they sell out soooooo quickly that it is a real problem even if you type fast ;)).
Now, I was lucky enough to secure tickets and also manged to get enough vacancy to do a re-try. I am going to visit the STS-120 mission now. We'll fly in to Orlando and then move over to the Titusville/Cocoa Beach area. Getting it all together was far from being simple.
After I got the launch tickets, I needed to get flights and then find hotels. This list is sorted in descending order or rareness ;) While I had only a 3-minute shot at obtaining the tickets, the flights were quite complicated too. Hotels were available, but of course not those I hoped to find. Based on experience from fellow travelers, Titusville seems to have only one decent hotel. I can back this, as I found none on my previous trips. The one in question is the Hampton. Everybody seems to know, and I didn't get a room for the 22nd ;) But everybody also seems to expect the shuttle to take off on first launch attempt - because starting from the 23rd there were vacancies. I secured some of them ;)
I hope to have a really great launch experience. I hope I'll find time to post more of my experiences on the way to the launch here in the blog. I'll probably even start a STS-120 section on my site www.gerhards.net - let's see :)