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NASA’s first Artemis moon launch might see more than 100,000 spectators, officials say

In a recent Florida Today article, Space Coast officials said that they are expecting at least 100,000 visitors for the inaugural launch of NASA’s Space Launch System, with the current launch date set for August 29 at 8:33am ET from LC-39 Pad B

Titusville Mayor Dan Diesel told Talk of Titusville in an email, “I can’t even put into words how exciting this Artemis Launch is to me and our entire city and county”

Mayor Dan Diesel said, “This means a lot to me personally. As I was blessed to be a kid who’s Dad (thus our entire family) was transferred here with the Gemini space program in 1965. I was able to proudly watch him commit the rest of his career and life to the Apollo Program and getting a man to the moon and then the Shuttle program as well”

“I could not be prouder of our space program and all of our citizens who are helping us build huge rockets again that will take us to the moon again.” Mayor Diesel said. “I am hopeful that the 100k folks who come to our city for the launch will feel a sense of our space pride as they arrive, all the way through when they depart after the BIG launch. We are Titusville and we are the gateway to nature and space.”

Vice Mayor Robert Jordan told us in an email, “As a 32 year veteran of the Space program, I am more than excited about the upcoming launch. We have always looked to the stars and the continuation of our very successful SpaceCoast. Welcome to all who visit and enjoy this very special launch.”

View of a launch from The Space Bar

Some of the recent SpaceX Crew Dragon launches have drawn between 100,000 and 250,000 visitors, according to Peter Cranis, executive director of the Space Coast Office of Tourism, in a Florida Today article. “I think the crewed launches and these Artemis launches are going to be of equal interest to people,” Cranis said. “I would expect certainly over 100,000, if not more, coming for that.”

As of June, Cranis told Florida Today that Brevard County had 10,734 hotel rooms and 4,500 vacation rental units. Each unit can obviously accommodate more than one person, but those numbers likely won’t be impacted by spectators driving from Orlando, for example, to see the launch without staying overnight.

“Our marketing line is we’re the only beach that doubles as a launch pad and now that’s a message we can put out there because the frequency is so elevated,” he said in the article. “Being known for that is something that makes us special among our peers who obviously have beaches to promote, but no space program.”


The space-themed Courtyard by Marriott Titusville – Kennedy Space Center, Titusville’s newest hotel, was completed this year and opened to the public in April and boasts views of KSC and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station pads and even has a rooftop “Space Bar” specifically for launch viewing.

Glen White, director of corporate communications for Delaware North, operator of the hotel, told Florida Today “We’ve had more and more people discover the hotel since it opened in April, with steadily increasing room bookings and patronage of The Space Bar on the roof,” The company franchised the Courtyard hotel brand and paid for the project.

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All of the rooms, along with the Space Bar, at the Courtyard by Marriot hotel are sold out for Artemis I.

“We also anticipate having people book rooms and visit the Space Bar to feel the excitement of seeing Artemis on the launch pad in the days leading up to launch,” White told the Florida Today

In an email to Talk of Titusville, Therrin Protze, the chief operating officer for the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, said, “We are thrilled with the excitement surrounding the Artemis I launch, and the viewing opportunities we are able to offer here at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. This is a historic mission..”

KSCVC opened up sales of launch viewing tickets starting at 11am on August 2nd, and many people reported the website crashed. Protze said of the website crash, “there was significant traffic to the website when tickets became available at 11 a.m. on August 2. We saw some initial delays, but our system worked as expected. Feel the Heat packages were the first to sell out. Feel the Fun tickets are also sold out, and General Launch Viewing tickets are still available at www.kennedyspacecenter.com.

Talk of Titusville will always be free to access.
If you love what we’re doing, please consider becoming a monthly Patreon Supporter HERE.

Artemis I’s launch coincides with the Visitor Complex’s newest exhibit, “Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex” exhibit, which focuses on the current and future of spaceflight. Inside the new exhibit is a scale model of the SLS rocket, a flown Orion capsule similar to the one on Artemis I, and other flown items, including a ceiling-mounted SpaceX Falcon Heavy booster.

Current Launch Windows

If SLS is unable to fly during the first window, August 29 to September 2, NASA has several more opportunities through the end of the year. A delay will mean having to roll SLS and Orion back to the Vehicle Assembly Building for more work, which will mean a shift in launch windows, depending on the work needed:

October:

  • Oct. 17 to 23
  • Oct. 27
  • Oct. 29 to 31

November:

  • Nov. 12
  • Nov. 14 to 19
  • Nov. 22 to 25
  • Nov. 27

December:

  • Dec. 9
  • Dec. 11 to 13
  • Dec. 15 to 17
  • Dec. 19 to 22

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