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Florida braces for crowds for NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission launch

An artist's depiction of what the Artemis 1 launch will look like.

An artist’s depiction of what the Artemis 1 launch can look like. (Image credit: NASA)

They’re coming.

Tourism officials in Florida’s Space Coast expect an enormous influx of tourists for the upcoming Artemis 1 moon mission, the initial launch for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. The “Space Coast” is really a term directed at the spot of Florida where both Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station can be found.

“First-time launch viewers should start planning their Space Coast getaway now to prepare yourself. Many beachside hotels already are sold-out for the Artemis launch attempts, but you may still find rooms on the mainland,” Peter Cranis, executive director of Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism, told Space.com. “There are many viewing locations to select from, and we recommend addressing your selected spot early to get parking and also have backup locations at heart. You will see a great deal of traffic before and following the launch, so visitors should make certain they will have taken any pre-trip bathroom breaks, stocked the automobile with snacks or methods to entertain kids, and packed their patience.”

Related: NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission explained in photos

Cranis added that Artemis 1 launch viewers should “Be sure you wear sunscreen, download theSpaceCoastLaunches app (opens in new tab), and monitor NASA and the area Coast Office of Tourism’s official social media marketing feeds for updates. In the event that you post any images or video on social media marketing, please use #SpaceCoast so we are able to see and perhaps share.”

Cranis said that while it’s hard to inform first-time launch viewers what things to expect, the storied history of space shuttle launches at the Cape could give us a hint of what the Artemis 1 launch will undoubtedly be like. “It’s hard to state just what to anticipate as this is actually the maiden voyage for the SLS, but we’ve been told that it’ll appear and feel much like Shuttle launches due the tremendous power,” he told Space.com. “This can include rumbling and windows vibrating a considerable ways away. Although you can observe a rocket launch through video as well as from over the state on an obvious day, nothing beats hearing and feeling the launch close up. THE AREA Coast may be the only beach that doubles as a launch pad, and we’re excited because of this next chapter in human spaceflight and space exploration.”

Related: Why are rockets launched from Florida?

A large crowd of people watch from Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral as the space shuttle Atlantis launches, Friday, July 8, 2011.

A big crowd of individuals watch from Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral because the space shuttle Atlantis launches, Friday, July 8, 2011 (Image credit: Jacob Langston/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Florida Today reports that officials expect over 100,000 tourists to flock to Florida once the space agency plans to launch the massive 200-foot (61-meter) rocket on Aug. 29 (or on placeholder backup dates of Sept. 3 and Sept. 5). Artemis 1 will launch from Launch Pad 39B at KSC on an uncrewed test flight that may place the Orion spacecraft in orbit round the moon for six to 19 days before time for Earth. The mission will serve as a keystone test for NASA’s future crewed Artemis missions.

“We have been expecting capacity crowds at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for the upcoming Artemis launch,” said Therrin Protze, visitors complex’s chief operating officer, in accordance with Florida Today. Protze added that KSC will offer you “special Artemis launch viewing packages which will include a few of the closest public viewing opportunities with distinctive experiences like live commentary from space experts and usage of select exhibits and attractions.”

Cranis said that other missions, such as for example recent SpaceX Crew Dragon launches, have drawn equally many visitors, with some crowds as high as 250,000. Luckily, the encompassing county has a lot more than 10,000 resort rooms and 4,500 accommodations, but there may also be a lot of other visitors who drive set for the launch without having to book accommodations.

A crowd looks on as the massive Artemis I rocket is ferried atop a mobile launch platform en route to Launch Pad 39B from the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida March 17, 2022.

A crowd looks on because the massive Artemis I rocket is ferried atop a mobile launch platform on the way to Launch Pad 39B from the automobile Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida March 17, 2022. (Image credit: Gregg Newton/AFP via Getty Images)

It isn’t just launch watchers that are worked up about the upcoming Artemis 1 mission. Mike Bolger, director of KSC’s Exploration Ground Systems, told Florida Today that even KSC staff are buzzing with anticipation for the launch. “The growing sense of energy and excitement that is steadily building around Kennedy and among our workforce within the last year is tangible,” Bolger said. “A feeling of anticipation keeps growing daily once we close in on launching this phenomenal rocket and spacecraft.”

KSC Director Janet Petro said that the complete center is counting right down to launch day. “You can observe it in peoples’ faces, it is possible to hear it within their voices, so when most of us stand as well as our eyes to the sky on launch day, I don’t believe you will see a feeling on earth enjoy it.”

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Brett Tingley

Brett is really a science and technology journalist who’s interested in emerging concepts in spaceflight and aerospace, alternative launch concepts, anti-satellite technologies, and uncrewed systems. Brett’s work has appeared on The War Zone at TheDrive.com, Popular Science, the annals Channel, Science Discovery, and much more. Brett obtained a Bachelors degree in English from Clemson University and a Masters degree in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of NEW YORK at Charlotte. In his leisure time, Brett is really a working musician, a hobbyist electronics engineer and cosplayer, a devoted LEGO fan, and enjoys hiking and camping through the entire Appalachian Mountains along with his wife and two children.

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