Visitors to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center have been lining up to see Space Shuttle Atlantis in a new $200 million exhibit that opened in June. But while traveling over 26 million miles, Atlantis’ glory days are over and the circa-1976 space ship will never fly again. Still, live launch viewing opportunities are available and this summer is host to one of the most exciting.
On Friday, July 19, NASA will launch a 191-foot Atlas V rocket, allowing visitors to view the launch from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area. That Atlas 5 rocket is launching the second Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite for the U.S. Navy, part of a new system that is providing improved ground communications for U.S. forces on the move.
A limited number of tickets for the Apollo/Saturn V Center launch, also viewable from a special area at the Visitors Complex with live commentary during the event, are available for an additional $20 plus tax on top of normal admission.
Blasting off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the launch window is tight. To maximize the success of the mission, launch must occur between 8:51 and 9:35 a.m. ET.How many more rocket missions there will be is unknown. But in this video a former NASA engineer suggests that technology may already be available to build and use an anti-gravity drive, rendering rockets obsolete.