The photo below outlines all the minor and major launch complexes at Kennedy Space Center #KSC and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station #CCAFS. Most of the viewing areas inside this map frame are for credentialed and placard caring individuals. However, there are many great viewing areas open to the public close by. Be sure to arrive early as the great viewing areas fill up fast. Thousand’s of spectators line the rivers, causeways, highways and beaches….you and your family should be among them.
Note: LC13 is now Landing Zone 1 (LZ1) where SpaceX launched and returned the Falcon9 back to land. A record and first ever.
The most popular public viewing areas are at:
- Cape Canaveral/Port Canaveral: Highway 401 which is exit to Terminal A off of SR 528 the ‘BeachLine’ to Cruise Terminal 5 & 6. (1) This is the closest and best POV for photographers.
- SR 528 at the two bridges going over the Banana River. Exit at Port Canaveral off SR 528 and U turn back on to SR 528 Westbound and then pull off to the dirt and grassy area on the north side of the causeway.
- Kelly Park off of SR 528, exit Banana River Drive.
- The Cove (Port Canaveral) Millikens Reef, Rusty’s, FishLips, Grills Seafood and Exploration Tower. Enjoy great food, music and a view. Many aerospace experts are enjoying the day at one of these establishments.
- Jetty Park for a fee. Walk out on the beach, the jetty or even relax with a lawn chair at the Ports new boat ramp (Free).
- KARS Park but you are limitied to access at times.
- Playalinda Beach – Federal Park on the Canaveral National Seashore. Take Garden Street from Titusville across the Max Brewer Bridge. Park Entrance Fee’s Apply and closes at dusk. This is the closest vantage point, for a fee, to the AtlasV Space Launch complex 41. LC39B is in the right corner, approx 4.83 miles.
You can also gain access to the Space Center for launches by visiting the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Of course you can see the rockets, clear site only, from anywhere but to see close to the ignition/liftoff you have to be around the Banana River or as noted (1) above.
If you are in New Smyrna Beach you can usually view a launch from the beach or at the State Park (Fee) at the Canaveral National Seashore. Drive south from SR 44 on A1A to the circle. Most parks close at sunset so plan accordingly.
You can even view launches from Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach and Flagler Beach….just be on the beach or close to it. Launches can be viewed as far away as Orlando and Vero Beach but nothing is as spectacular as being within 15 miles of the beasts lifting off!
Most, if not all, launches have an due eastward trajectory.
The following image plots out the distances from each launch complex to the viewing areas. The currently active, or soon to be active, launch pads are;
- LC39B – SLS with Orion and Starliner.
- LC39A – SpaceX Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy – Dragon
- SLC41 – Atlas V and Vulcan – Orion
- SLC40 – SpaceX Falcon 9
- SLC37B – Delta IV and Delta IV Heavy
This is a work in process, more to follow.
Feel free to email for additional information: Restrantek