(Where) should we go to see the space shuttle landing?
August 30, 2009 12:26 PM   Subscribe

(Where) should we go to see the space shuttle landing?

NASA's website lists several off-site viewing locations for launches and landings. I realize a landing is not nearly as spectacular as a launch, but will we see anything interesting at all from these locations? Are any of them close enough that we'd be able to ooh and aah and get the best (even if brief) view of the shuttle? Which one would you recommend? I'm specifically looking for advice from anyone familiar with the area, especially if you've seen a shuttle landing.
posted by ellenaim to Science & Nature (4 answers total)
Years ago I saw a shuttle "landing" from the KSC visitor center early in the a.m. I say "landing" because I saw heard the double-sonic boom and I saw the shuttle flying overhead, but I did not see it touch down on the runway.

Aside from the fact that it was the space shuttle, and therefore a worthwhile experience (IMO), some folks might view it as anticlimatic since you just see it going by at a distance.

I haven't researched it, but I suspect that something like this - seeing it at a distance - is probably the best you can do, NASA wants people a good distance away from the action, in case something goes wrong.
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey at 3:05 PM on August 30, 2009

On the theory that if you could see something you could take a picture, I looked on flickr. 3924 pictures indicate maybe you can see something.
posted by DU at 4:00 PM on August 30, 2009

I've seen a landing from Jetty Park. I wasn't there specifically to see the landing, just happened to be there at the time. It was ok, but not super close; another location might be better. However, the nice thing about the park is that it's a park, so you're not waiting on the side of the road (which I have done for launches). I've also seen a landing from Kennedy Space Center. It's closer, so that's better, but it was overcast, so I can't speak to how great visibility would be on a sunny day.

I have to warn you that it's not really spectacular. It's often overcast for landings, and apart from the boom, it looks like a plane landing.
posted by bluefly at 4:12 PM on August 30, 2009

Well. It ended up landing in California. Bummer. We drove up to Titusville and it turns out there's a nice playground there with a good view of the landing area. It would have been the perfect spot.
posted by ellenaim at 6:16 PM on September 30, 2009

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