Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Camping at Kennedy Space Center

With the upcoming final launch Tweetup upon us, I thought I would post a few thoughts about visiting Kennedy Space Center for a Tweetup. Even though this is the last launch Tweetup, there will be more Tweetups for non-low earth orbit launches and other exciting events at KSC.

I attended the Tweetup for STS-132, which was one of the earlier launch events. For this event we were told to bring our own water however on the second day of our Tweetup NASA did provide a water cooler so we could fill our water bottles. Granted the tent is air-conditioned but with all the walking around in the heat you do, carrying water is a good idea. I’m certain future Tweetups have provided a water cooler as well.

NASA doesn’t provide any food. On the day before the launch, we were told to bring our own lunches and snacks as no food was available. Since I flew to Florida for the event, I bought a cheap Styrofoam cooler I left in my hotel room and used it for keeping my food cold. The day was so busy and exciting that I didn’t eat what I brought anyway but I was glad to have it just in case.

On launch day, I bought a hamburger and chips as NASA allows vendors to sell food to those at the press site. Obviously if your launch is delayed like STS-133 and STS-134 you will need to provide additional provisions.

Bathrooms are readily available in a concrete camp style facility as well as in the press building. On launch day, getting to either bathroom from the twent without walking through a camera shot is next to impossible but when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.

In many ways, you are at one of the most high tech places on the planet while in other ways, you are camping out in the middle of nowhere and it’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.