Rocket Launch Viewing Guide for Cape Canaveral
Atlas 5, Delta 4 & Falcon 9
Homepage       Launch Photos

Page updated Aug 30
NEXT LAUNCH

Falcon 9 / September 3 @ 3:00am EDT: Due to the late time, Port Canaveral (10.3 miles at Rt.
401) will be the best place to view this launch.

Atlas 5 / September 8 @ 7:05pm EDT: Tickets (
click here) for this launch are now being
offered from the LC-39 tourist gantry (just 2.3 miles away) and the NASA causeway (5.0).
These are the best choices for this mission. They are also being offered from the main visitor
complex (7.1). Playalinda Beach (4.8-5.7) normally closes at 8pm, so view at your own risk or
check in at the entrance station about closure times. The launch window stretches to 9:05pm.

--------------

This section outlines the next few launch dates for each of the three rockets from Cape Canaveral:

ATLAS 5

The next United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket will launch NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample
return mission, this time in the rare 411 configuration with one SRB on the side, on
September 8 at
7:05pm EDT
. Sunset is 7:35pm EDT. The launch window will stretch two hours and close at 9:05pm
EDT. Then, an Atlas 5 401 version with no SRBs will launch SBIRS-3 for the US Air Force on
October 3 at 3:47am EDT. The launch window stretches 40 minutes to 4:27am EDT. After that, an
Atlas 5 541 with four SRBs will launch the GOES-R weather satellite for NASA and NOAA on
November 4 at 5:40pm EDT. The launch window will stretch two hours to 7:40pm EDT. Sunset is
6:35pm. Then, an Atlas 5 431 version with three SRBs will launch the Echostar 19 communications
satellite on
December 8.


FALCON 9

The next SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the AMOS-6 communications satellite for Israel on
September 3 at 3:00am EDT
. The launch window stretches two hours to 5:00am EDT. Following
that, a Falcon 9 - the first ever reused one - will launch the SES-10 communications satellite
on
mid-October TBA.


DELTA 4

The next United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket, flying in the medium configuration with four solid
rocket boosters, will launch WGS-8 for the US Air Force on
November 17 at about 7:30pm EST. The
launch window should stretch under one hour. Then, a Delta 4 medium with four SRBs will launch
WGS-9 on
February 2 at about 7:30 or 8pm EST.
In this very wide-angle view, a Delta 4 rocket launches into space at sunset in July
2015, as seen from a riverside spot near Port Canaveral.
KEEPING UPDATED

Information on each launch, its launch date and the latest status on weather and
technical issues during a launch countdown can be found at
www.SpaceflightNow.com and the "mission status center" they provide each time.
You can also watch the launch webcast live on your smartphone there (also in the
status center), but keep in mind there is a 10-20 second delay. You should
continue to check the status of the launch up until you leave your home, as well as
after you leave on your smartphone.

Twitter is also a good place to stay updated these days, following
SpaceflightNow, ULAlaunch and a couple of others (or just follow the mission
hashtags if you find them). Updates may also be found for some launches on a
scanner at 146.9400, a local radio repeater which rebroadcasts the official launch
coverage audio. This may also be on a delay depending on the launch.

You can keep track of future Cape Canaveral launch dates right here on this page,
or on the Spaceflight Now
launch schedule.

If you have further questions, or want to know how to photograph launches,
please
ask.
A 2009 Atlas 5 launch as seen from Playalinda Beach. This version had no solid strap-on boosters and
therefore no smoke trail coming from the rocket. This photo was taken with a telephoto lens.
FALCON 9 FIRST STAGE LANDINGS

Falcon 9 rocket first stages will attempt to land back at Cape Canaveral in a first-of-its-kind feat starting in December 2015. Landings will take place at what used to be old Complex 13
(
28.486 N, 80.545 W) from the 1950s-70s. It is adjacent to 14, where John Glenn and three other Mercury astronauts became the first Americans to orbit the Earth starting in 1962. As the
pad is about 5.6 miles south of Complex 40 and 9.2 south of pad 39A where Falcons will begin launching in 2016, the viewing is different than for launch. Perhaps the best place will be the
pier in Jetty Park (see below), which is 6.0 miles from the landing (but from which launch pads 40 and 39 are not visible themselves). From the pier in Jetty Park, Complex 13 is almost lined
up with old Delta 2 Complex 17 perfectly, so use that as a reference point. Alternatively you can stick with Port Canaveral, like Rt. 401, and be 6.9 miles from landing. The NASA causeway
(roughly 4 to 5 miles from landing) would be good if ever offered. The Saturn V Center (11 miles) has no clear view of landing. Playalinda Beach (12-13 miles from landing) and other northern
areas are not recommended if viewing landing is your concern. This section will be updated in the future based on actual experience.


DELTA 4 LAUNCH VIEWING

Delta 4 rockets launch from Pad 37B (Google Earth/Maps coordinates 28.531 N, 80.564 W). The closest possible viewing now offered for Delta 4 is from the NASA causeway (2.7-3.0 miles
away) and the LC-39 Observation Gantry (5.5 miles away), through tickets sold by the
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. As with the others, tickets will not be offered for all
launches, especially if the launch time is outside of normal business hours. The KSC Visitor Complex, another option, (again during business hours only) is a distance of 7.1 miles, and the
view, while not as good, is also not terrible. From the grass lawn behind the Atlantis exhibit, in the area closest to the corner of the two main roads, the pad is ever so slightly out of view
looking up SR 405, and the rocket visible as soon as it lifts off. In other areas of the Visitor Complex, it will be obstructed. The best and closest free view, and the place to go during other
times, is Port Canaveral on Route 401 (8.6 miles clear across water). There is no major advantage in viewing Delta 4 launches from any other location. Equally distant from the Port, the Saturn
V Center, another ticketed stop on the bus tours they offer, does offer a clear view and is also just over 8 miles exactly from the pad. So that is also a good possibility if you prefer to combine
your viewing with a tour of the space center.



=========================================================

SECTION 2: MORE DETAILS ON THESE SITES & OTHER LOCATIONS

WITH TICKETS: LC-39 OBSERVATION GANTRY, SATURN V CENTER, NASA CAUSEWAY & VISITOR COMPLEX

First, make sure you
sign up for email alerts so you know when tickets are going on sale.

The LC-39 Observation Gantry (
28.595 N, 80.618 W), a viewing tower that is one of the stops on the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex bus tour, is the newest viewing location now
being offered. And it is the best ever, allowing you to get as close as just 2.3 miles for an Atlas 5 launch or 3.4 miles for a Falcon 9 launch (and 5.5 for Delta 4). This is the closest viewing of
any launch ever offered to the public. If you get the chance to buy tickets for the LC-39 gantry, GO FOR IT! The three-level tower offers slight elevation for some, or you may find yourself
on the grass in front of it, both with a clear view across the water to any of the launch pads.

The NASA Causeway (
28.509 N, 80.605 W) is an excellent, new viewing option (most famously used for space shuttle launches in the past). It is just 2.7 to 3.0 miles for a Delta 4 launch, 4.0
for Falcon 9 and 5.0 to 5.2 miles for Atlas 5. The view is excellent, too, with nothing but water between you and the launch pad. This is a road that runs across the Banana River for about
three miles and is surrounded by water.

The Saturn V Center (
28.605N, 80.669 W), a stop on the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (VC) bus tour, offers a clear 5.4 mile view of Atlas Pad 41 and 6.3 mile view of Falcon Pad
40. (At 8.1 miles from Delta 4's Pad 37B, while clear, there is no real advantage over Port Canaveral unless you want to do a tour on the same day as launch.) The Saturn V Center is a
beautiful museum housing one of the only three Saturn V moon rockets still left. It was beautifully restored and opened to the public in 1996. This is a sight not to be missed on any visit to
KSC, as with the newly-opened Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit at the Visitor Complex.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (
www.KennedySpaceCenter.com) is the independent museum and tour operator for the Kennedy Space Center. I highly recommend taking at
least the main bus tour to see, up close, this incredible and historical place. Other tours to see different facilities up close are also offered, and each includes the main bus tour and Saturn V
Center in addition to the Visitor Complex itself & Space Shuttle Atlantis which is now on display there. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (KSC VC) itself (
28.523 N, 80.682 W)
offers viewing (again, when open), but with no truly clear view of the pads themselves. You will only see the rocket once it has launched and cleared the trees and buildings in front of you.
Between the three rockets, Delta 4 is a little better than the others from here in terms of the view, but only from one area of the complex as noted: The corner of the lawn behind the new
Atlantis museum, which has a view up State Route 405 towards the pad, which is itself just barely hidden. (Television screens, or at least speakers with countdown audio are normally set up
for launches at the Visitor Complex.) As noted, other areas of the complex will have the view blocked like the other pads. Distance from the Visitor Complex to Pad 37B is 7.1 miles; to Pad
40 is 6.7 miles; and to Pad 41 is 7.2 miles.

FREE VIEWING: PORT CANAVERAL

Route 401 (
28.419 N, 80.630 W) is the best spot for viewing at Port Canaveral. Launch viewers park their cars in the grass on the side of the road beginning a few hours before launch time.
The same is done on 528 on the Banana River, where there is more room to spread out and for RVs, though this spot is about another half mile further back. BEGINNING IN LATE 2014,
VIEWERS GOING TO ROUTE 401 SHOULD GET THERE EARLY. SPACE IS NOW MORE LIMITED, AND ONCE IT FILLS UP POLICE MAY DIRECT YOU BACK TO RT. 528
WHICH IS SLIGHTLY FARTHER AWAY.

In 2013, a new observation tower, known as
Exploration Tower, opened at the Port with an outdoor viewing deck on top, providing a slightly higher aerial view of the Cape. This tower can
provide a different,
elevated view for a launch, but the view is not very good and I do not recommend it. The view from the top is mostly obstructed for Delta 4 launches (the pad is blocked
by another structure in the Port in all but one small corner of the tower) and
partially so for Atlas 5 launches as well. It offers the best line of sight for Falcon 9 launches as seen in the first
link. However, the tower is normally open only from 10am to 5pm and accommodates just 75 people maximum on the outdoor deck and some more on the inside area behind glass. Viewing is
first-come, first-served, according to officials there. Frequently, however, the tower is rented out for VIP parties and closed to the public.

FREE (well, $5) VIEWING: PLAYALINDA BEACH

The closest and best spot for Atlas 5, and also a decent option for Falcon 9, is Playalinda Beach, but only if it is open (6am to 8pm in summer; 6am to 6pm in winter), as detailed above.
Playalinda Beach is located to the north of all the launch pads, across the bridge and east down the road leading from north Titusville. Parking at the beach (28.655N, 80.632 W) is located 5.8
miles from Atlas 5 Pad 41 and 7.2 miles from Falcon 9 Pad 40, and you can walk down the beach and get as close as a distance of 4.8 miles (for Atlas 5) and 6.3 miles (for Falcon 9) to be even
closer at the KSC security fence. The beach is occasionally but rarely closed for daytime launches as well. (Playalinda Beach is 8.5 to 9.3 miles from Delta 4's Pad 37B, and the view is
partially or completely obstructed from here. This is not recommended for Delta 4 launches.) The entrance fee to Playalinda Beach, part of Cape Canaveral National Seashore and managed by
the National Park Service, is $5 per car.


JETTY PARK & BEACHES

Once the one and only beautiful viewing site for Delta 2 and Atlas 2 & 3 launches, Jetty Park (
28.4083 N, 80.5873 W) is no longer a good place to watch any rocket take off from Cape
Canaveral (this will change in 2017 when the Minotaur rocket makes its first flight from the Cape). It is equally distant as Port Canaveral (Route 401) is from any of these three launch
vehicles, so the same information/distances apply, but it offers no direct view of any of the current three launch pads, all of which are hidden behind a low berm. You could happily view the
launches from here or on the beach down the seashore as well, and it is still a beautiful place to watch, but the rocket will not become visible until it has cleared the tower and risen above the
launch pad and berm directly across the inlet. If you are a photographer aiming for photos from here, be sure to plot out which way to look on the horizon using a program such as Google
Earth. The park has a $5 entrance fee per car as of 2011. As you progress farther south along the beach, some launch pads do become a little more visible on the horizon due to perspective,
but then you are getting farther and farther away.

TITUSVILLE

Titusville, anywhere on the Indian River along US 1 or Rt. 406, can be used to view any of these rocket launches as well, but is significantly farther than Port Canaveral is for all three launch
pads (minimum 13 miles, maximum 16 miles, to Pad 41, 40 or 37B).
A daytime Falcon 9 launch in July 2014 as seen from the NASA causeway.
SECTION 1: LAUNCH VIEWING SUMMARY

NEW UPDATES FOR 2015

For quick reference, you just need to read this section. This gives visitors the information they need to know right away. For more details on these viewing sites you can continue reading the
next section below. This is the only completely accurate launch viewing guide on the internet. I have personally verified all details over 15 years of experience and have accurately measured all
distances to within less than one-tenth of a mile. Note that other potential slightly closer locations you see on a map and which are not mentioned mean they are not on public property or in a
safe viewing location.
Note first that each of the three rockets (Atlas 5, Falcon 9 and Delta 4) uses its own separate launch
pad (Complex 41, 40 and 37B, respectively, from north to south). The launch pads at Cape Canaveral
are separated by a couple of miles, so viewing is different for each one. I frequently get questions by
email about which is the best rocket to come see. Unfortunately, the answer is more complicated than
you might expect, as each of the three rockets can alternate for the winner of 'best viewing' depending
on what time of day they are launching and whether the KSC Visitor Complex is offering tickets to get
to an even closer spot, which only occurs for some launches. Read the sections below for more
information. In 2016, a new launch pad will be added to the guide, as former space shuttle pad 39A will
become the second launch pad for the Falcon 9 rocket, including the larger Falcon 9 Heavy. In 2017, the
smaller Minotaur rocket will come to the Cape for the first time and launch from Complex 46. And in
the near future, the new startup Blue Origin may bring launches back to old Complex 36. So keep
checking back for more updates.

ATLAS 5 LAUNCH VIEWING

Atlas 5 rockets launch from Pad 41 (28.583 N, 80.583 W). It is now possible to view some Atlas 5
launches from as close as just 2.3 miles away at the LC-39 Observation Gantry by buying tickets sold
by the
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Keep in mind this site could deemed off-limits at the
last minute due to wind direction (a safety concern) because of the short distance to the pad. But, this
is by far the new best place to view and the closest viewing of any kind for any launch. Playalinda
Beach is the next closest place, and also is the best spot outside the space center, at just 4.8 miles from
the launch pad once you walk down the beach. It is also the closest free or low cost ($5) viewing site
for any rocket. However, it is not open for night launches (operating hours are 6:00am to 6:00pm every
day of the year). The NASA causeway offers viewing of 5.0 to 5.2 miles from Pad 41 and is a great
view across water. As with the other ticketed options, this site is not always available. The Saturn V
Center (5.4 miles), another stop on the KSC Visitor Complex tours, is an excellent option as well for
Atlas 5 launches, accessed by taking the bus tour at the Visitor Complex with launch day tickets. The
Visitor Complex itself is 7.1 miles away, but in the case of Atlas 5 offers no direct line of sight to the
pad itself, which is behind the tree line. You'll see it once it lifts off. For off-hours/night launches, when
no tickets are being sold by the Visitor Complex and Playalinda Beach is closed, the best option for
Atlas 5 launches is Port Canaveral on Route 401, at 11.7 miles from the pad. In that case it is the
furthest viewing of any rocket.

FALCON 9 LAUNCH VIEWING

Falcon 9 rockets launch from Complex 40 (28.562 N, 80.577 W). The new best spot for Falcon 9
launches is the LC-39 Observation Gantry via tickets through the KSC Visitor Complex, as already
described. This is just 3.4 miles away from the launch pad. Similarly, if offered, the NASA causeway
offers viewing at just 4.0 miles from the pad. Playalinda (6.3 mile obstructed view) and the Saturn V
Center (also 6.3 miles but clear view) are all options. Playalinda is obstructed depending on what spot
you are in. If you walk down the beach to get to the 6.3 mile mark, you cannot see the pad. If you stay
back by the parking area or along the road to the beach, you have a clearer view but are 7.1-7.3 miles
away. The Visitor Complex itself is 6.7 miles from the pad but offers no view of the pad itself
(obscured by the tree line as with Atlas 5). Port Canaveral's Route 401 (10.3 miles) is the closest and
best spot otherwise, and the place to go for off-hours launches.
Twitter       Facebook       Instagram       Flickr
Space & Launches       Travel       Astronomy       Ballparks       Popular       About       Order
HOW TO GET THERE

DIRECTIONS TO PORT CANAVERAL

From Daytona: Leave no later than two hours before launch (more if you are north of Daytona). Take I-95 south about 55 miles to Exit 205 The Beachline EAST towards "Canaveral:
Cape-Port-AFS." Stay on for about 15 miles.

***There are two exits for Port Canaveral, the first is a big BLUE sign and the second is a big GREEN sign, marked exits A and B respectively. Take the first exit, the giant BLUE sign marked
TERMINAL A (North Terminals, etc; this is also Rt. 401). A smaller sign notes this is the exit for Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The exit loops around on the right. You will then go over
a drawbridge. About 1/4 mile later, the road both curves sharply to the right and passes under an overpass at the same time. Pull off on the left (water) side of the road. Parking is allowed here
for launches and will fill up close to launch time, so arrive at least an hour beforehand

From Orlando: Take Rt. 528 The Beachline EAST towards Cape Canaveral. Follow all the way (stay to the right when the highway forks) to the cruise ship terminals at Port Canaveral.
Follow same *** directions as above, looking for the BLUE sign.

From South on I-95: Take I-95 north to Exit 205 The Beachline EAST towards "Canaveral: Cape-Port-AFS." Stay on for about 15 miles. Follow same *** directions as above, looking for the
BLUE sign.

From Cocoa Beach or South on A1A: Follow A1A north. A1A will slowly curve to the left as you drive through the town of Cape Canaveral, passing a US Post Office and a McDonald's,
both on the right. Just as A1A starts becoming a bigger highway (it becomes Rt. 528 the Beachline headed towards Orlando) you will get to the exit for the cruise terminals (the BLUE sign exit
as named above). A small sign points to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) as being that exit as well. Exit, go over the drawbridge and following the *** directions as above.

DIRECTIONS TO PLAYALINDA BEACH

From Daytona: Leave no later than two hours before launch (more if you are north of Daytona). Take I-95 south about 40 miles to Exit 220 (Rt. 406). Turn left off the exit ramp.

***Follow 406 all the way across the bridge and into Merrit Island NWR. Stay on the road (now Beach Road) all the way to the end. There is a $5.00 entrance fee before you reach the beach.
Park and walk out onto the beach. You can walk as much as nearly a mile south before reaching the KSC security fence.

From Orlando: Take Rt. 528 The Beachline EAST towards Cape Canaveral. Look for the fork in the highway and take the left fork towards Titusville and Kennedy Space Center. Next, exit
on I-95 north, and go to Exit 220 (Rt. 406). Turn right off the exit ramp and follow *** directions as above.

From South on I-95: Take I-95 north to Exit 220 (Rt. 406). Turn right off exit ramp and follow same *** directions as above.

From Cocoa Beach or South on A1A: Follow A1A north. A1A will slowly curve to the left and become Rt. 528, the Beachline (formerly Beeline). Stay on 528 (you are going west) and then
exit onto US 1 north. Proceed through Titusville and look to turn right on Garden Street (Rt. 406). Continue straight to the beach as indicated *** above.

DIRECTIONS TO THE KSC VISITOR COMPLEX

From Daytona: Take I-95 South for about 40 miles to Exit 215 and go left and then turn right at the first light. Now on Route 405, go straight all the way to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor
Complex (several miles past the Astronaut Hall of Fame). The Visitor Complex is located right before the security entrance to KSC, and cannot be missed.

From Orlando: Take the Beachline (Rt. 528) east until the highway forks. Take the left fork (the signs direct you to Titusville and Kennedy Space Center). You are now on Rt. 407, the
Challenger Memorial Parkway. When the road ends after several miles, turn right. You are now on Rt. 405, also called Columbia Blvd. Follow as above.

From South on I-95: Exit 212 north on Route 407 and follow as above, turning right onto 405 at the end of 407.

From Cocoa Beach or South on A1A: Follow A1A north. A1A will slowly curve to the left and become Rt. 528, the Beachline (formerly Beeline). Stay on 528 (you are going west) and then
exit SR-3 north (Courtney Parkway). Proceed north six miles to the final light before the security gate, Space Commerce Way. You must turn left here. At the end of this windy road, turn
right. Entrance is on the right, and cannot be missed.
As seen from the NASA causeway 5.0 miles away, an Atlas 5 rocket speeds into orbit in the late afternoon of February 24, 2012. This version of the Atlas 5 had solid rocket motors attached,
and thus a smoke trail (rockets that do not have these do not leave one). This view shows almost exactly what you will see with the naked eye from this location. To the right (the other four
lightning towers) is the Falcon 9 launch pad at 4.0 miles away.
REFERENCE PHOTOS

PHOTOS OF DELTA 4 LAUNCHES FROM LC-39 OBSERVATION GANTRY
Sunrise, Delta 4-Heavy - telephoto view
Daytime, telephoto view of pad only


PHOTOS OF FALCON 9 LAUNCHES FROM LC-39 OBSERVATION GANTRY
Daytime, zoomed in
Daytime, actual view


PHOTOS OF ATLAS 5 LAUNCHES FROM LC-39 OBSERVATION GANTRY
Daytime, telephoto - credit Erion Cuko
Daytime, telephoto


PHOTOS OF ATLAS 5 LAUNCHES FROM PLAYALINDA BEACH
Daytime, with SRBs - actual view, from parking lot stairs
Daytime, no SRBs - zoomed and wide
Daytime, with SRBs - actual view, taken from parking area
Daytime, no SRBs - zoomed in a little
Daytime, with SRBs - zoomed in
Daytime, no SRBs - zoomed in, from Beach road much further away near Titusville


PHOTOS OF FALCON 9 LAUNCHES FROM PLAYALINDA BEACH
Daytime - zoomed in, from parking lot stairs - credit Erion Cuko (note it comes up from
behind pad 39A's tower from here)
Sunset- actual view, from the road leading to the beach - credit Erion Cuko (from here, it
comes up behind pad 39B)


PHOTOS OF DELTA 4 LAUNCHES FROM NASA CAUSEWAY
Daytime, with SRBs - telephoto
Daytime, with SRBs - medium zoom
Daytime, with SRBs - wide angle
Daytime, with SRBs - wide angle
Daytime, Heavy (no SRBs) - telephoto


PHOTOS OF ATLAS 5 LAUNCHES FROM NASA CAUSEWAY
Daytime, with SRBs - zoomed in
Daytime, with SRBs - actual view
Daytime, with SRBs - telephoto
Daytime, with SRBs - zoomed in
Daytime, with SRBs - wide angle
Daytime, with SRBs - very wide angle
Daytime, no SRBs - telephoto


PHOTOS OF FALCON 9 LAUNCHES FROM NASA CAUSEWAY
Daytime - telephoto
Daytime - slightly zoomed in
Daytime - actual view


PHOTOS OF ATLAS 5 LAUNCHES FROM SATURN V CENTER
Daytime, with SRBs - actual view
Daytime, with SRBs - wide angle


PHOTOS OF DELTA 4 LAUNCHES FROM PORT CANAVERAL
Daytime - strong telephoto
Sunset - strong telephoto
Sunset - strong telephoto
Daytime - wide angle
Daytime, Delta 4-Heavy - strong telephoto
Sunset - wide angle


PHOTOS OF ATLAS 5 LAUNCHES FROM PORT CANAVERAL
Daytime, no SRBs - strong telephoto
Daytime, no SRBs - strong telephoto
Daytime, with SRBs - actual view
Sunrise, with SRBs - actual view
Daytime, with SRBs - actual view
Daytime, with SRBs - strong telephoto
Daytime hazy day - strong telephoto


PHOTOS OF FALCON 9 LAUNCHES FROM PORT CANAVERAL
Daytime - zoomed in
Daytime - moderate telephoto


PHOTOS/VIDEOS OF LAUNCHES FROM EXPLORATION TOWER AT PORT
Falcon 9 (best of three for telephoto only)
Atlas 5
Delta 4 (totally obstructed at liftoff)
Delta 4 (daytime, wide angle)
Night launches can be spectacular, lighting up the entire area for a brief minute or two. On the left, a very wide angle photograph of an Atlas 5 launch from the NASA causeway. The short
'beam' of light is the result of the moving rocket after exposing the photo for a few seconds to capture the light properly. The sky is a blue hue here because of the full moon. On the right, the
space shuttle, which put out far more power and flame. Usually, the naked-eye color of the flame and night launches is a golden off-white color.
REFERENCE VIDEOS
Most videos cannot convey the sound of the launches properly

VIDEOS OF FALCON 9 LAUNCHES FROM LC-39 OBSERVATION GANTRY
Daytime - zoomed in
Daytime - wide angle


VIDEOS OF DELTA 4 LAUNCHES FROM NASA CAUSEWAY
Daytime, cloudy, Delta 4-Heavy - Actual view
Daytime - Wider angle


VIDEOS OF FALCON 9 LAUNCHES FROM NASA CAUSEWAY
Daytime - actual view
Daytime - actual view
Daytime - Zoomed and actual mix
Daytime - actual


VIDEOS OF ATLAS 5 LAUNCHES FROM NASA CAUSEWAY
Daytime, cloudy - mostly zoomed in
Daytime - mostly zoomed in
Daytime - zoomed in


VIDEOS OF DELTA 4 LAUNCHES FROM VISITOR COMPLEX
Post-sunset, with SRBs - wide angle view
Similar, but wider angle view
Taken from Atlantis museum's lawn looking up SR 405. Pad is just barely hidden.


VIDEOS OF ATLAS 5 LAUNCHES FROM PLAYALINDA BEACH
Daytime, with SRBs - zoomed in
Daytime, with SRBs - wide angle
Daytime, with SRBs - taken from road leading to beach


NEW! VIDEOS OF FALCON 9 FROM PLAYALINDA BEACH
Daytime - actual view, taken from the fence line on elevated walkway
Daytime - zoomed in, from closer to parking area, partially obstructed


VIDEOS OF ATLAS 5 LAUNCHES FROM SATURN V CENTER
Daytime, with SRBs - actual view
Daytime, with SRBs - wide angle


VIDEOS OF ATLAS 5 LAUNCHES FROM PORT CANAVERAL
Daytime, with SRBs - very wide angle, from Rt. 528


VIDEOS OF FALCON 9 LAUNCHES FROM PORT CANAVERAL
Daytime - Taken from NASA causeway; identical to Port Canaveral but sound takes longer
to reach


VIDEOS OF DELTA 4 LAUNCHES FROM PORT CANAVERAL
Daytime, with SRBs - actual view
Nighttime, with SRBs - actual view
The following section contains links to photos, mostly from other viewers but some of my own on this website, showing the view of each of the rockets from each of the
various viewing locations. This should help you get an idea of what to expect, and help photographers get a good idea of what kind of photo they can get from each place: