Space Shuttle Program

Being a local Floridian, I've had the chance all my life to see the Space Shuttle launch off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. However, nothing was like the time on that wonderful Spring day on the beach, in Cape Canaveral. The sun was warm, the water cool, the people were active, and food was being cooked and served. All up and down the area of the Florida Space Coast, people were out and about, enjoying their day until they could see the Space Shuttle Discovery launch that night at 7:43 PM. Their mission? To take off and head to the International Space Station, bringing along with them the final pair of US-built Solar Wings and the last segment of the Space Station's backbone-like main truss for Mission STS-119. Around the initial launch pad, the cities of Merritt Island, Cape Canaveral, and Cocoa Beach were sprawling with business and activities.

Everywhere you went, people had found their place to see the launch from. In Merritt Island, people were parked all up and down the Merritt Island Causeway, enjoying the Indian River and watching the wind surfers ride around. Places such as Applebee's Tiki bar, also located on Merritt Island, allowed for cold drinks and hot food to be consumed while sitting at and around the Tiki bar or just outside on it's deck, both with a clear view of the river and over towards the Launch Pad itself. In Cocoa Beach, the ever packed Cocoa Beach Pier barely had walking room, as many locals and tourist knew it to be one of the best locations for "Launch Days". Too much for you? Well it was for me, so a few of my buddies headed just south of the Pier to a restaurant named Coconuts on the Beach and enjoyed some drinks and a bite to eat. Heading north back to my home town of Cape Canaveral, there are some of the closest land-based places you can legally get to see the Launch. The majority of these places are located at Port Canaveral; a place of fun and excitement all of the time. Now, if you plan to visit the Port or one of its restaurants, be sure to call ahead and get a reservation, or you may not get a spot! But if you really want to enjoy fine dining and enjoy your view of the Launch Pad, I'd recommend Grills, Fish Lips and Milliken's Reef. All have a fine dining style of food and service with two different atmospheres to choose from: Fine Dining inside and Party/Laid-Back style outside.

However, if you're not into eating or drinking at a restaurant, then you can simply pay homage to Mother Nature and enjoy one it's most beautiful creations, much like I did: The Beach! Bring your own food and drink and camp out with all of the rest of us, basking in the sun and watching the waves. From the Cape Canaveral beaches, you can look north and see Port Canaveral and the Delta Two Rocket Launch Pads, and turn around south to see the Cocoa Beach Pier. With only a few houses or apartments to shield you from the shockwave of sound, the Cape Canaveral beaches allow the ultimate viewing, hearing and relaxation experience of Space Shuttle and Delta Two Rocket Launches.

Cape Canaveral Sunday, March 15th 2009

Tourist and locals agree, you just have to watch a Cape Canaveral Launch to experience it for yourself! Enjoy the Port, beaches, fishing, boating, fresh seafood and many other things to do in Cape Canaveral during your next vacation to Central Florida.

what is the density of space shuttle foam?

as reported, foam broke away and fell damaging some of the heat resistant tiles on the shuttle. my question is does this seem unlikely to you. is space shuttle foam extra dense or are space shuttle tiles extra fragile. the foam i think of when i hear the word is not dense like styrofoam foam, or like sponge mattress foam or like nerf ball foam. was the foam heavy because it was water soaked and frozen?

The foam is not really dense, but it is travelling at tremendous speed (the shuttle has to reach 25,000 miles per hour to acheive escape velocity) and the tiles are fragile. So even if if the foam isn't iced over, just travelling a few thousand MPH, you can get huge impact damage.




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