Falcon 9 to light the night skies at Kennedy Space Center

By | October 2, 2012

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Watch the night sky light up as a Falcon 9 rocket rises from the East Coast on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. Launch viewing for the first SpaceX mission to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) will be available at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The night launch is scheduled for 8:34 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

This flight will begin a series of missions to the ISS under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract, restoring American capability to deliver and return significant amounts of cargo aboard the Dragon spacecraft. The Dragon will carry 1,000 pounds of supplies, including materials to support the 166 planned investigations into plant cell biology and human biotechnology on the ISS. Upon arrival to the ISS, astronauts will use a robotic arm to grapple the Dragon and attach it. Before the Dragon returns to Earth, the six person Expedition 33 crew aboard the ISS will load the spacecraft with an estimated 730 pounds of scientific materials and 504 pounds of space station hardware.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is offering the public an opportunity to view this night launch from the NASA Causeway, the closest public viewing area to the launch pad. A limited number of Special Access Passes to the NASA Causeway can be purchased for $20 plus tax, in addition to admission. Bus boarding will begin at 5:30 p.m. EDT for transportation to the NASA Causeway.

Launch viewing is also available from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, including live mission control commentary, and is included with regular admission.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. Closing times vary by season. Admission includes the Kennedy Space Center Tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and all exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, open from noon until 6:00 p.m. daily. Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.