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Member Viewing Opportunities at the Launch

Note: all arrangements and expenses for transportation to and from Florida, lodging and food to be provided by you, the participants.

On arrival and check-in with staff, The Planetary Society will provide a packet of information with a schedule of activities related to the launch as well as information about local restaurants and recreational opportunities.

Launch time is now expected at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday, May 20.

In addition to these activities, we recommend that donors plan to visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (kennedyspacecenter.com) to make the most of their trip and experience. There is also the digital Florida's Space Coast guide, a comprehensive list of things to do, see, eat and drink.

May 19, 2015

  • Arrive at Cocoa Beach, Florida.
  • 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (dinner break) & 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Check-in for members of the Planetary Society with staff
  • We expect to have check-in at The Inn at Cocoa Beach main lobby (4300 Ocean Beach Blvd., Cocoa Beach). Their phone number is (800) 343-5307 or (321) 799-3460. Pick up visitor packets which include name badges, lanyards & hospitality package (yes, we will have goodies for you—tote bag with schedule, information on local attractions, stickers, pens, pins, LightSail postcard, bottle of water, sunscreen/bug spray, and lip balm).
  • Optional dinner “meet-up” with Planetary Society staff and other members; we will provide a recommendation for a restaurant to share the evening with other Planetary Society members and select Planetary Society staff. We will have further details at check-in.
  • Optional evening drinks; join other members and staff of The Planetary Society for another informal “meet-up.” We will have further details at check-in.

May 20, 2015

  • Early breakfast on your own! Or you may run into other Planetary Society members or staff (look for us in our Team LightSail t-shirts or by our LightSail name badges). 
  • Launch Viewing (note updated information in red)
    • 8 a.m. Arrive at the Kennedy Space Center. Arrive early and ride the bus to the Apollo/Saturn V Center is located within the secured area of Kennedy Space Center and features an open lawn and bleacher section overlooking the scenic Banana River. PLANETARY SOCIETY STAFF WILL GREET YOU ON ARRIVAL AND HELP DIRECT YOU TO THE BUS AREA.
    • The Planetary Society will have a 300 seat area reserved for the official Planetary Society part (staff, mission team members, and other VIPs connected with United Launch Alliance) as well as members of the Planetary Society. We will have a Planetary Society greeting table at Kennedy Space Center for members who haven’t checked-in with us yet. We will have visitor packets which include name badges, lanyards & hospitality package (yes, we will have goodies for you—tote bag with schedule, information on local attractions, stickers, pens, pins, LightSail postcard, bottle of water, sunscreen/bug spray, and lip balm). Also worth noting: if there is rain (which is currently predicted) the Saturn V Center offers opportunity to be out of the weather while waiting.
    • 10:45 a.m. This is the beginning of our launch window for the day.  Be sure to be in your seats in the bleachers!  
    • Note: the information previously shared on ticketing was incorrect. You need to purchase a regular ticket for the Kennedy Space Center, but you do not need an additional ticket for the launch viewing. Purchase tickets online or call (866) 737-5235. The launch window is expected mid-morning through mid-afternoon on May 20, with May 21 as a back-up day. Dress comfortably for warm, humid weather and possible rain (bring an umbrella!).
    • Following the launch, attendees may either return to the hotel to prepare for celebratory dinner or, if it is early in the day, attendees may explore the Apollo/Saturn V Center or return to the KSC Visitor Center to take advantage of the time to enjoy a tour.
    • Dinner celebration at 7 p.m. with Bill Nye, the mission team, and key Planetary Society staff at Milliken’s Reef (683 Dave Nisbet Drive, Cocoa Beach).  Members need to call in for their own reservations at the restaurant for this “meet-up”-style gathering (all members responsible for their own dinner cost). Phone number:  (321) 783-0100.
    • Evening, for those interested, enjoy after dinner drinks with Planetary Society staff and members at a meet-up spot to be decided.

May 21, 2015

  • Breakfast on your own or with other Planetary Society members or staff.
  • If the launch occurs on schedule on May 20, then you are on your own and may visit other points of interest on the Space Coast, or depart for home.
  • If, however, the launch has been delayed one day, we will again travel to the Kennedy Space Center for the launch window.

Following the launch, return to hotel and depart for home or other points of interest on your trip. 

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