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. Army rotc

    Pablo consider ur self a marked man ...how dare u disrespect a navy brother ...ur a marked man

    February 24, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. American

    I bet pablo isn't even his real name, the people that are arguing are..plain stupid. Just shows how dumb people are when you put a fake name and say something that could of been ignored. Whoever said that america not having drugs as there past time needs to go back to school because you are obviously uneducated and sadly a human being, have you ever heard of the alcohol prohibition and bootleggers you idiot? Alcohol is a drug, its a depressant, what you sadly need to live your life. The billion dollar industy of pills, yeah there drugs too. Please keep your thoughts to yourself because the world can use less people like you.

    February 24, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TB

    Pablo... Keep posting.. We almost have a trace on your email.

    February 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lizzy

    I love my country and fellow Americans. Poop on you Pablo yuck yuck mouth. That is all 🙂

    February 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TB

    Pablo.. Expect a visit.... SOON

    February 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. THE DUDE!

    You eat immigrants for breakfast?
    Thats disgusting, especially little burrito boys and rubber dingy riders.
    If it ain't white it ain't right.

    February 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • silverfox0370

      THE DUDE!
      LOL TOO MUCH, hey where did the dingy little burrito go!! I was just startn to have fun, this is COOL!!

      February 24, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kid w/ zombie painted face

    I like turtles.

    February 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. George Evans

    Pablow...whatever, needs to learn english before he starts talking!?!

    February 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. LensLord

    It looked to me as if three tiles fell off the shuttle.

    February 24, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Berry

      I saw those 3 pieces of debris also. They seemed to be moving fairly slowly in the slipstream which would imply some mass to each piece and that might rule out foam. They seemed to miss the vehicle as they moved downwards but I could be wrong about that.

      February 24, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • LensLord

      And they seemed to be of a regular square, oblong, shape, as opposed to a more jagged foam piece.

      February 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jill ban

    God bless america! This is such an amazing thing to watch! Thank you nasa! Technology today is mind-blowing!

    February 24, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. patricia

    There will be private launches by virgin atlantic and for above the earth's rides into space.

    February 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. THE DUDE!

    My guess, border patrol picked him up while he was digging a drug tunnel.

    February 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. freddie

    Pablo you are pathetic.i hope you die.godbless e eryone stuck in traffic with me.

    February 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Combat Ops

    Was too cloudy....was hoping for a night launch. And Pablo....watch your mouth, I hope you know, its quite easy to track you....we do have the technology to do that you know. Godspeed crew of STS-133

    February 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy

    Kyle said it best! It *is* cool!!!

    February 24, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
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