Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1742 – 1744: Cape Canaveral and the Space Coast!

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Jul - 25 - 2015

Distance: 82.9 km
Ride time: 3:50:44
Average: 21.6 km/h
Max speed: 37.4 km/h
Total: 38453 km

I’m always a little excited to do wild camping for the first time in a new country. Luckily no problems at all sleeping at this beautiful beach in Florida; I love waking up to the sound of waves and a look out over an empty beach!

I’m now entering the Space Coast – the area around Cape Canaveral where NASA has one of their big launch sites. I had been invited to stay with Frank NA4CW who is in fact a retired NASA engineer with many good stories to tell. I was also going to meet Dan K1TO who would be arriving from the west coast of Florida. I last met Dan in Copenhagen in 2002. It was a happy reunion.

Dan is a professional antenna and tower guy, and the next day we were doing work on Frank’s antennas.

Then Frank had a nice little surprise coming up. It turned out NASA was launching an Atlas 5 rocket carrying a new GPS satellite the very next day. How good timing is that? At first we thought about watching the launch from Frank’s garden where he has a nice view, but since we were only a few miles away from the Kennedy Space Center we decided to drive up there. We were not the only ones who got that idea.

On the local VHF repeater we could here the countdown: All systems OK, 60 seconds to launch. 30, 20, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Lift off! We saw the rocket first, then a few seconds later came the sound. This was cool stuff, especially because the rocket was carrying a GPS satellite that I will be using on my phone and Garmin cycle computer for the rest of the trip!

What a nice time with Frank, his wife Liz, and Dan on Merritt Island. Florida continues to surprise 🙂

Categories: USA
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5 Responses so far.

  1. Oh, I’m so jealous! Cape Canaveral has been on my list for years. Unfortunately, I’ve not managed to get there.

  2. Brad says:

    You might be able to use GPS satellite SVN-72, Thomas. GPS satellites typically take between three weeks and two months to be fully commissioned after launching. Here’s hoping!

  3. Wes SP4Z says:

    Fantastic news from you Thomas
    We (with Richard K1CC) also were in KSC in Feb 2015, but we had no lucky to see lunching a rocket – we left 30 minutes,
    We only saw the track of the lunch and bright point
    50km distance away from the South on A1A highway, hi hi

    73, Wes SP4Z

  4. Hi Wes! Ah, great that you have been there as well with K1CC. It was a special thing to see the rocket take off. See you in the contests!

  5. OK, great to know Brad. I hope to be using that SVN-72 satellite soon. It was cool to see it go up there. Thomas