Crowds flock to Florida's 'space coast' to witness history
Ed and Debby Rogers of Utah are part of the tens of thousands of campers outside Kennedy Space Center to watch Thursday's shuttle launch.
February 24th, 2011
02:29 PM ET

Crowds flock to Florida's 'space coast' to witness history

NASA's shuttle Discovery is scheduled to launch Thursday for its final mission as the shuttle program comes to an end. After months of delays due to leaks and cracks in the external tank, NASA says Discovery is ready.

And so are the people who began lining up along the causeways and waterfronts across from the Kennedy Space Center earlier this week.

Ed and Debby Rogers drove all the way from Utah with their dog AJ and pet bird Bamby.  They parked their RV along the Indian River for the second time in hopes Discovery will lift off and not be scrubbed like their first trip in November.

"For us it's a once in a lifetime experience," says Debby. "We grew up always watching it on TV and we always wanted to see in person."

Are you watching the shuttle launch?  Tell us about it.

Parking lots, batches of grass on the side of the road and parks with a view of the Kennedy Space Center are filled with people hoping to witness a spectacular launch. More than 60,000 people are expected at the Kennedy Space Center said NASA to witness the launch and that doesn't include the tens of thousands of spectators along the Indian River.

Hundreds have been packing into Space View Park in Titusville, Florida, where memorials to previous space programs are displayed.

Mike and Carol Hashiro who both work for Boeing in Los Angeles planned their trip to Florida with their son Kyle  in hope of see the shuttle launch.

"What we both do at work eventually ends up in space," says Carol, as she sits on the water's edge in Space View Park. "It's really exciting to see it used out there."

Nine-year-old Kyle said it more simply: "It's cool."

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Filed under: Florida • Shuttle • Space
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Danielle

    What an amazing launch! Didn't think it would go after that glitch but it did and it was beautiful. My prayers will be with the astronauts for their time in space.

    February 24, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sarah

    I work at Epcot and watched it take off over Mission Space. So awesome.

    February 24, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lizzy

    Pablo... you don't have to WISH death upon someone... we will all die! I don't care what country you're from, what your ethnicity or occupation is... you were born filling your lungs with the same air I fill my lungs with too maaan. If you can't handle that this land is your land, this land is my land... from California, to the New York Island from the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters...

    than this land was not made for you and me, just me... and the rest of us.
    ALSO, STOP HATING ON PEOPLE WHO LOVE WEINERS. I frickin' love weiners man, big ones and small ones they are all great and fun but just one at a time too many at once can leave someone really weinered out. You know what I mean I just know this. Get well soon Pube-lo.

    February 24, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tothestars

    the discovery has had ts fair share of luanches. too the crew flying its final voyage into space gods speed wth a safe return. too the future and space missions beyond one can only dream america and its alliies will one day seek the next great adventure conquering space and all that it has to offer. too the brave crew and nasa thanks for going to the stars.

    February 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ma

    Can't wait to see what the USA comes up with now....

    February 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. back to the past

    You guys are stupid. human will never stop flying into space. there is so much to studie. oh and stop trying to pick a fight online people

    February 27, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dolly O.

    SO IN OTHER WORDS TO THE PPL HIDING BEHIND THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY .."YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CANT HIDE" LATE PRESIDENT REAGAN SAID IT BEST. ANYWAYS fellas i dont get IT...Every blog i've read so far has a fight going on..Why..why.why? In reality we dont really know who is entering the negative comments..OR DO WE? i mean how do u know what ethniticity*(ms) he/she is from Nor do we know what HUMAN RACE IF ANY THEY COME FROM:) MEANWHILE.back at the ranch i mean..Back on track..the subject in hand.. God speed 2 D ppl on board the Discovery. Now let's focus on the positive & pay no attention to the negative which steals from the Glory of those whom we wish a safe return & 4 their coarage they demontrate.BRAKING THE ICE.. Have a wonder day !!

    February 27, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Charles

    NASA identified and now uses wormholes to access the moon and mars.. One was found at area 52 and another was found in Louisiana. Both were located accidentally and presently function one way only.. That's serious intelligence there. The truth should be known.

    February 27, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kor

    LOL you act like only NASA can do the space missions. Its now in the hands of Space X corp. and the other 2 companies. And later there will be other companies. Just means more of a chance to be a space pilot

    February 28, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  10. texan

    With Space X and the other companies launching their space programs we will have more jobs and more opportunities for people to be space pilots

    February 28, 2011 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
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