Spent the Day Waiting For the Falcon Heavy Rocket to Launch

Yesterday I mentioned the launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket (well, 3 rockets together) going up from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  We live fairly close and could have seen it from our house, but we wanted to find a spot on the water (Mosquito Lagoon) where we could also see the space center launch pad.   That is part of the fun… seeing the plume of smoke when liftoff occurs.

We found a great spot, but then heard that the launch was being delayed until 2:15.  We had no cell service so had a hard time getting information.

Because we ended up having a longer wait, we decided to go for a ride and the radio station in the truck gave updates on the launch.  While we waited we headed over to the Haulover Canal area and sat in the shade watching the boats go by.

Eventually we heard that 3:45 was the time for launch. Four o’clock was the latest it would go so we had our doubts, but the radio announcers said there was a 90% chance it WOULD lift off.
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We headed back to our original spot, where the dirt road was lined with vehicles.  Further down is dirt road that curves out along the water where we had clear view of the Space Center and launch pad. Binoculars helped, since we were about ten miles away on the coastline of the Mosquito Lagoon.
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The launch was easy to see from our vantage point, but when the two rockets came back to land they were behind the trees (to the right in my photo). In fact I lost track of them and didn’t see them at all. A loud rumble told us they had landed.

liftoff of rocket
Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida
contrail from rocket
Trail of clouds after liftoff

My photos are not that great. They were taken with my iPhone. I used my binoculars most of the time to see what was happening up close. That was a good view! We did see a few people with big cameras set up on tripods ready to capture some great photos.

You will find many better photos out there, but I wanted to share my experience.
It was fun, and a beautiful site to see. Glad it went off without a hitch. Now there is a car in space.  Don’t know what I am talking about?  Go watch this video.

Red Tesla
Saw this red Tesla parked along the road as we were leaving!

SpaceX Launches Car Into Orbit and Lands Three Rockets Back at KSC Today

In a short time we will be leaving to find a spot along the Mosquito Lagoon to view this big, triple rocket launch into space. The three rockets will be coming back to land on the launch pad (2 of them) while the other lands on a platform out at sea.

This is a video of how it should go, but Elon Musk himself is not sure about the success of this launch.  (Read my post with photos of the actual launch.)

Here is a way to watch it live: https://www.space.com/39604-spacex-falcon-heavy-rocket-test-flight-webcast.html

Finding a Remote Boat Ramp in Scottsmoor

While we were over on the east coast of Florida one day, we decided to head south from the Edgewater area and try to find the next closest boat ramp.  Down that way the ramps go into the western part of the Mosquito Lagoon.  From there, make your way (in your boat) across to the Haulover Canal which passes through to the east side of the Lagoon.

Mosquito Lagoon
Mosquito Lagoon West

We drove east for a few miles from Rt. 1 on a dirt road and finally came across the small boat ramp.  It has room to put in one boat at a time and the boat loads into a narrow channel that feeds out into the open water.

Looking south, the Kennedy Space Center vehicle assembly building is barely visible.

Kennedy space center
Space Center, Cape Canaveral

I found some crown conch shells and thick clam shells, but the most interesting item I found floating among the weeds in the shallows was this horseshoe crab.  It was not alive.

horseshoe crab
Horseshoe Crab

Area map of Scottsmoor Landing Boat Ramp, Credit: Google Maps, Google imagery @2016 TerraMetrics

map of mosquito lagoon area
Boat Ramp, where we were, with Haulover Canal, Space Center view

Once we have a flats boat we plan to spend some time fishing in this area. For now, we have to stay close to the Edgewater ramp where we put the little boat in, as it doesn’t travel very fast, or handle waves well!

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