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Dusk rocket will light up the space coast, Jan. 3

Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm





By Peter Covino

Arts & Entertainment Editor

The Kennedy Space Center will welcome the new year with a light show in the skies  — the launching of a Falcon 9 rocket, Friday, Jan. 3.

Of course, as all Central Floridians know, rocket launches are highly dependent on weather conditions, but the SpaceX liftoff is currently scheduled for a 5:50 p.m. launch at Launch Complex 40.  Guests can  view the launch from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex at the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area, or special areas at the Visitor Complex. The rocket is carrying a Thaicom 6 telecommunications satellite. The launch window closes at 6:57 p.m.
Cost to view the launch from the viewing area at the  center is $20 plus the cost of admission. Admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is $50 plus tax for adults and $40 plus tax for children 3-11. Bus boarding for the Apollo/Saturn V Center begins at 3:45 p.m.
Located along the Banana River just a few miles from the launch pad, the Apollo/Saturn V viewing area offers the closest public viewing opportunity in Brevard County. This viewing area will feature live launch countdown commentary.
Launch viewing, featuring live mission control commentary, also is available from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and is included in regular admission.
This will be the second Falcon 9 launch in a month following the successful Dec. 3 launch of the SES-8 satellite. The Falcon 9 rocket will fly with upgraded Merlin 1D engines and larger fuel tanks. The Thaicom 6 will beam Ku-band and C-band services to Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call 877-313-2610 and visit

If you can’t make it out to the center, dusk launches are easily visible from Kissimmee, St. Cloud and the Orlando area.

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, the new Angry Birds™ Space Encounter, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and many other interactive exhibits. The new $100 million home for Space Shuttle AtlantisSM opened June 29, 2013. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, which opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season.  Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers annual passes starting at $75 + tax for adults and $60 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit