If you want to see NASA’s next moonbound launch leave Florida, you’re going to have to act fast.
Ticket sales for the Artemis 1 launch, which is targeted for Aug. 29, were so popular after opening Tuesday (Aug. 2) that the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s website was briefly overwhelmed, Florida Today reported (opens in new tab) late last week.
A “quick fix” to the website, however, allowed the complex to sell out two of the three package deals within 2.5 hours of opening ticket sales, the report added.
“This is an historic mission, and there was significant traffic to the website when tickets became available at 11 a.m. on August 2,” Rebecca Burgman, a spokesperson for the Visitor Complex, told Florida Today. “There were initial delays with the ticketing site that our team was able to quickly address.”
The news comes amid expectations that more than 100,000 people will show up on the Space Coast of Florida, which includes the Kennedy Space Center and the nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, both of which are an hour east of Orlando.
“Many beachside hotels are already sold out for the Artemis launch attempts, but there are still rooms available on the mainland,” Peter Cranis, executive director of Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism, told Space.com last week.
“There are plenty of viewing locations to choose from, and we recommend getting to your chosen spot early to find parking and have backup locations in mind. There will be a considerable amount of traffic before and after the launch, so visitors should make sure they have taken any pre-trip bathroom breaks, stocked the car with snacks or ways to entertain kids, and packed their patience.”
Cranis added that recent SpaceX Crew Dragon launches have drawn as many as 250,000 individuals, but there is plenty of infrastructure in the region to support tourists. More than 10,000 hotel rooms and 4,500 vacation rentals are available, and additional visitors will be able to drive in from nearby counties without overnight accommodations.