STS-135 Final Space Shuttle Launch Trip

The next few days will be fun, taking a few friends and my little man flying on the weekend.  Plus finishing my Cessna 172 full load check flight.  Following that however will be my next major Plane Adventure, a trip to the US to see the final Shuttle Launch.  It’s always been a dream of mine to witness a launch having watched just about every launch for the last 10 years on NASA tv.  With  STS-135 being the absolute last chance to see a launch, it just had to be done.  It will be incredible, but also sad to see the end of the Shuttle era. Just as it was when Concorde flew its last flight into Bristol on the 27th Nov 2003.

Anyway, the trip, with all the travel details and tickets sorted, it will be a 43,000km adventure!  Josh and I will be heading straight to New York via Dubai for a 4 day look around the big apple.  Its then on to Washington DC for American Independence Day celebrations.  While there, we’ll be visiting the Smithsonian Air & Space Museums.  This will include seeing every famous plane from the Wright Brothers first plane through to a retired Air France Concorde.  Then, it’s off to the space coast of Florida…

We arrive in Orlando and will take up residence for 9 days at one of the DisneyWorld Hotels.  That will be our base to head off to Kennedy Space Centre for the ultimate air/space craft experience, the Space Shuttle Launch on the 8th July.  We’ve got 7 more days contingency if it doesn’t get away on time.

So where to view the Shuttle Launch has been bugging me for weeks, given NASA sold out of tickets more than a month ago.  Most off NASA locations are nearly 16 miles away.  I keep seeing the ultimate NASA tickets for sale on eBay for over $500, a rip-off.  Anyway as a bit of chance, one of the crooks on eBay listed a tour providers name as the pickup location.  So I’ve just called the tour provider and by chance they had 4 VIP tickets available due to a cancellation.  Woo Hoo!  These tickets are for the premier viewing location at Kennedy Space Centre on the NASA Causeway just 5 miles from launch pad 39A.  So now having secured 2 of those tickets, we’ll get a bus from Orlando and enjoy our space experience.  Now we just need NASA to launch on schedule!

The remainder of our time in Orlando will be for Josh and I to enjoy the Disney experience.  We are very much looking forward to it.  All in all, a pretty good 40th birthday present 🙂

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2 Responses to STS-135 Final Space Shuttle Launch Trip

  1. Sounds like Great Fun, Brett. Looking forward to hearing all about it when you return. Lots of HD video please.

    PS: SJT is now back in one piece – thank heavens! (and all works well)

    Stuart Payne

  2. OzFlyer says:

    Trip is certainly fun so far Stuart! We got the shuttle launch yesterday, which exceeded any preconceived expectations. There are a few HD videos in the works, however the still shots are winning out at the moment.

    Great to hear about SJT. Have you managed to get a handle on the new Garmin dash and take her flying yet?

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