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Historic Orion Launch Draws Big Tourism Numbers for Cocoa Beach Area

Fri, Dec 05, 2014 at 5:39PM

It was a historic day for the future of deep space exploration as visitors from across the globe watched a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket carry NASA’s Orion spacecraft into earth’s outer orbit. Hours later, the unmanned capsule splashed down into the Pacific Ocean completing its first successful test flight. The launch took place from right here at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and drew over 27,000 spectators to Kennedy Space Center’s NASA Causeway alone. I was fortunate enough to be present for the first launch attempt on Thursday, December 4. Although the launch ended up being scrubbed due to a fuel valve issue, it was an amazing thing to watch so many people back here on the Space Coast and excited about space! Hotels were booked, restaurants were packed and merchandise was purchased, all contributing to our economy. What’s more is that many visitors have decided to make a weekend out of this historic launch, putting heads in beds just where we want them! Space has been and will continue to be our bread and butter here in Brevard, and the tourism industry benefits from all that these launches bring. While the Orion capsule hopes to carry out manned missions by 2021, let us not forget that here on the Space Coast, we have several unmanned launches each year. I encourage all of our visitors to experience viewing a launch and even planning their next vacation to the Cocoa Beach area surrounding one. Even if you aren’t in VIP viewing three miles away from the launch pad, simply watching the launch from our beautiful beaches will be sure to take your breath away! For a complete listing of unmanned launches, be sure to check Kennedy Space Center’s website or click here. Go Delta! Go Orion!
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