With the launch of STS-134 Space Shuttle Endeavour rapidly approaching we are expecting about 500,000 visitors to watch the launch. This somewhat deflated figure has been put down to the fact that the launch is happening early on a Monday morning rather than late Friday evening.
With a targeted launch time of 8:56 you really need to be there and in place by 5am, or 6am at the latest. For many leaving from the Orlando/Kissimmee area this will mean leaving at around 3am, and even then you will find lots of traffic on the freeways.
Want to find the best spots to view the last launch of Endeavour? You can check out our launch viewpoint information. This gives you information about where to go and what you can see. Be prepared to have alternate viewing sites planned as some of the more popular will fill us very quickly.
Our recommendations for the launch follow, but dont forget you can use our Launch Pad iPhone app to plan your trip.
Viewing the early morning launches introduces special challenges. The sun will rise at about 6:30am so will have only been in the sky for about 2.5 hours. This means that the best places to watch the launch from will be anywhere where the line of sight is north of east.
This means that for public viewing the NASA Causeway will have the best views, but unless you have tickets already then that is not an option. The next best option on Washington Ave will be Kennedy Point park with the viewpoints moving further north being less advantageous. My personal choice would be to head out to Jetty Park, the SR401, or Cocoa Beach where the sun will be over your right shoulder.
If at all possible I would avoid any of the northern viewpoints such as the Haulover Canal or the bridge at Max Brewer Memorial Highway.
Wherever you choose to view the launch from make sure you take lots of fluids, sufficient food, and most especially sun block. Enjoy and be safe.