Pad Information


 

slc-40

Space Launch Complex-40 is located on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). SLC-40 is currently leased to SpaceX and supports their Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

Status: Active.
Owned by: CCAFS.
Leased to: SpaceX.
Current Vehicles: Falcon 9.
Future Vehicles: N/A.
Past Vehicles: Titan III, Titan IV.


 

LZ-1/2:

SpaceX Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1, LZ-2) are located on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and are where SpaceX conducts Return To Launch Site (RTLS) booster landings of their Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles.

Status: Active.
Owned by: CCAFS.
Leased to: SpaceX.
Current Vehicles: Falcon 9 (landing), Falcon Heavy (landing).
Future Vehicles: N/A.
Past Vehicles: Atlas, Atlas Agena.


Image from SpaceX.

ocisly drone ship:

SpaceX’s Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY) drone ship is used for ASDS booster landings of Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy center core. It’s location can vary from under 15 miles to over 780 miles offshore depending on the launch.

Status: Active.
Operated by: SpaceX.
Current Vehicles: Falcon 9 (landing), Falcon Heavy (landing).
Future Vehicles: N/A.
Past Vehicles: N/A.


Viewing Locations


viewing location selection:

Below you’ll find a list of our favorite viewing spots for launches from SLC-40. Keep in mind that there are many more locations that aren’t listed here. We narrowed the selection to our top five in attempt to make it easier for first-time launchgoers to choose their locations. No matter which location you choose from the list below, you’ll have an amazing launch experience!


1. kARS PARK

With generally small crowds and a clear line of sight to the pad, KARS Park is one of the Space Coast’s hidden gems. Located 10 miles south of SLC-40 and under 8 miles west of LZ-1/2, making it a great option for viewing launches and RTLS landings. KARS park also offers a good amount of amenities, including bathrooms and a shop where you can purchase food and beverage. Though open from sunrise to sunset, this location sometimes remains open for launches outside of normal operating hours. Camping options are available for active and retired military as well as KSC employees. Because of this, there are often extremely knowledgeable individuals there that are happy to answer any questions you may have. Launch viewing is open to the public, with parking costing $5 per car. Parking is limited, so plan to get here a little early to claim your spot.

Distance to SLC-40: 10 miles.
Distance to LZ-1/2: 7.75 miles.
Viewing Cost: Free.
Parking Cost: $5/car (limited parking).
Hours: Sunrise - Sunset (sometimes remain open past this for launches).
Amenities: Restrooms, Food, and more.
Website: https://go.nasa.gov/2IzoLAx

 

2. KSCVC LC-39 observation gantry:

Located only 3.4 miles from SLC-40 and with a clear view of the launch, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center’s (KSCVC) LC-39 Observation Gantry viewing is the closest viewing location for launches SLC-40. It’s important to note that this location isn’t always available for launches. When it is, tickets can be purchased through the KSCVC website. Because of this, launchgoers will need to act fast if they wish to view from this location as tickets sell out extremely quickly. The LC-39 Observation Gantry offers some amenities including restrooms and live launch coverage. KSCVC typically offers viewing for launches outside of normal operating hours. If Observation Gantry tickets aren’t available, KSCVC’s Apollo/Saturn V Center viewing option is a great backup plan. We don’t recommend KSCVC’s other viewing options though, as there are plenty of other viewing locations, many of which free, that offer a better view of launch.

Distance to SLC-40: 3.4 miles.
Distance to LZ-1/2: 8.85 miles.
Viewing Cost: $40 - $80 (varies depending on the launch).
Parking Cost: Transportation provided by KSCVC.
Hours: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM (stays open for launches).
Amenities: Restrooms, live countdown, and more.
Website: https://bit.ly/UoRQTM

 

 

3. Jetty park:

While this Jetty Park is located under 11 miles from SLC-40 and has a pretty obstructed view of the launch, it’s under 6 miles from SpaceX Landing Zones 1 and 2, making this the best possible location for viewing RTLS booster landings. This is another incredibly popular viewing location due to its close proximity to LZ-1/2, beautiful shores, camping options, food, and pier for better viewing. Launchgoers should plan on getting to the park a bit early in order to secure a parking spot. Other than the cost of parking, this location is free to view from. As we said before, Jetty Park is rather far from SLC-40 and its obstructed view of launch makes it hard to recommend for those more interested in viewing the launch than the RTLS booster landings. Jetty Park typically remains open past normal operating hours for launch viewing.

Distance to SLC-40: ~11 miles.
Distance to LZ-1/2: ~6 miles.
Viewing Cost: Free.
Parking Cost: $15/car.
Hours: 5:00 AM - 11:00 PM (stays open for launches).
Amenities: Food and restrooms.
Website: https://bit.ly/2ZGLPTB


 

4. Max brewer Bridge:

The Max Brewer Bridge is one of the easiest (and cheapest) locations to view a launch from. It’s simple “find a spot and pullover” nature makes it a very popular viewing location, especially among the locals. While a bit far from SLC-40 at just under 14 miles, you have an unobstructed view of the launch from the top of the bridge. Since this is a public road, it’s open for launch viewing 24/7. Though they may close the bridge to vehicle traffic for high-profile launches, pedestrian traffic is still permitted. Those seeking amenities such as food and restrooms will want to consider other options as Max Brewer doesn’t offer any. Though 18 miles from LZ-1/2, it’s elevated view provides a decent view of RTLS booster landings.

Distance to SLC-40: ~14 miles.
Distance to LZ-1/2: ~18 miles.
Viewing Cost: Free.
Parking Cost: Free.
Hours: 24/7.
Amenities: None.
Website: N/A.


 

5. Space View Park:

Popular for it’s clear line of sight to SLC-40 and amazing volunteers, Space View Park is another great viewing location. Free to park and view from, Space View Park is also among the cheapest locations on our list. Though similar to viewing from Max Brewer, Space View Park does offer a few amenities such as restrooms. Engaging with and informing launchgoers while also playing a live launch countdown, the volunteers you find at this location do everything they can to make it an unforgettable and immensely educational experience, especially for first-timers and children. Parking is limited though, so launchgoers will need to come a little early to claim their spot. At 18 miles from LZ-1/2, this may not be the best location for those more interested in viewing RTLS booster landings. Space View Park is open 24/7, making it available for launches at any time.

Distance to SLC-40: ~14 miles.
Distance to LZ-1/2: ~18 miles.
Viewing Cost: Free.
Parking Cost: Free.
Hours: 24/7.
Amenities: None.
Website: N/A.