Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sunday's space shuttle flight could be the last night launch

This weekend could be our last chance to see the space shuttle blast off in darkness, as it did on Aug. 28.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times (2009)

This weekend could be our last chance to see the space shuttle blast off in darkness, as it did on Aug. 28.

This weekend could be the Tampa Bay area's last chance to see a spectacular sight: the space shuttle blasting off in the night.

The shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to lift off at 4:39 a.m. Sunday, well before sunrise. If it's clear, Tampa Bay residents will be able to look to the east and see the fiery launch against the dark sky.

"A night launch is absolutely spectacular," said Kennedy Space Center spokeswoman Candrea Thomas. And this spectacle, she said, is likely to be "an opportunity that most people won't get to have for a long time."

Only four space shuttle missions are planned after this one, and under the current schedule, all the others will launch during daylight. That could change, however, because launches are frequently scrubbed and rescheduled.

Some viewing tips for Sunday:

Look to the east, in the general direction of Cape Canaveral (due east if you're in New Port Richey, east-northeast if you're in St. Petersburg or Tampa.) Keep the radio or television on or check www.tampabay.com to see if the launch has been canceled.

If you are thinking about driving over to the Cape Canaveral area to see the launch, start this afternoon or early this evening. Consider getting a hotel room tonight if you can find one, in Titusville or Cocoa Beach.

You'll want to arrive in the area at least three hours before launch time. And expect to spend an extra three hours in traffic on the way back. In other words, you'll be pulling an all-nighter. So bring extra drivers and extra caffeine. And remember, cancellations are common.

If the launch is scrubbed Sunday morning, NASA will try again at 4:14 a.m. Monday.

NASA plans to end the space shuttle program early next year.

Sunday's space shuttle flight could be the last night launch 02/05/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 6, 2010 1:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Unemployed with a pre-existing condition, Republican David Jolly came to see Obamacare as 'safety net'

    Blogs

    Former Congressman David Jolly, who ran against Obamacare in 2013, said in an interview Monday night that he now considers it a "safety net."

  2. Five children hospitalized after chlorine release at Tampa pool store

    Accidents

    Five children were sickened at a pool store north of Tampa on Monday after a cloud of chlorine was released, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

  3. Deputies find unidentified decomposing body in Dunedin canal

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies found an unidentified male body floating in a Dunedin canal Monday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office said.

  4. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  5. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108