The countdown to #LaunchAmerica has begun. On May 27, 2020 NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are scheduled to liftoff from Cape Canaveral on Florida’s Space Coast on a SpaceX Crew Dragon. This will mark the first time American astronauts have launched from American soil since July 2011. Although the day may look a little different than what we all had anticipated, residents on Florida’s Space Coast, including the thousands of Space-industry workers, can still partake in witnessing history first-hand, with proper social distancing in mind.
1. Virtual Launch Party
For many on Florida’s Space Coast, the first launch of American astronauts would have been a very good reason for coming together to watch history. Luckily with the technology of today this is still a possibility. Gather your launch tribe and set up a video conference call to watch the Crew Dragon launch from your perspective locations. Although not in person, you can still experience the emotion and thrill of the launch together – and if there is a recording option on that call, what a great way to store a historic memory.
2. Safe – And Social – Driveway Launch Party
For many on Florida’s Space Coast, driveways (or back yards) offer a great view on launch day. Driveways also provide 6-feet, or more, of distance between neighbors. Join the neighborhood together during this historic time with a driveway launch-viewing party. Gather up some chairs, snacks and games for your family and set up on your property. Neighbors doing the same will be close enough, yet just far away, for everyone to experience Crew Dragon together, safely.
3. Dinner and a Show
Endless take-out options are available throughout the Space Coast. In addition, Brevard breweries are offering more carry-home options of local favorites than ever before. Pair your choice of beer with your favorite take-out, and check out some recommended pairings from the Launches & Lagers Space Coast guide. Grab a few lawn chairs or a picnic blanket to set up your (safe and social distant) launch viewing spot and dig in and let the show begin.
4. Live-stream to your world
On Florida’s Space Coast, residents are fortunate enough to watch Crew Dragon without leaving their own homes. However, many who were looking to travel to witness SpaceX and NASA make history are now planning to watch over a live feed, which will offer a great up-close virtual viewing. For those of us who are lucky enough to see Crew Dragon in person, why not live stream to your friends and family? This will provide that in-person viewpoint they were hoping for, and who knows, it could go viral!
5. Out of towners: experience it live!
Both SpaceX and NASA often offer live videos of their launches. Follow SpaceX on Twitter @SpaceX. Go one step further and register to #LaunchAmerica with NASA. Stream the broadcast from NASA TV and prepare for launch day with virtual tours of NASA facilities, games, videos and much more. Check it out at www.Nasa.gov/content/virtual-guest-experience.