Hundreds of thousands of tourists in Florida for the Artemis mission

Watching a rocket take off for the Moon is unquestionably an extraordinary experience. Aware of this reality, hundreds of thousands of people traveled to Florida on Monday for the launch of NASA’s mega-rocket. Unfortunately for her, the launch was postponed to Friday

Lifting off from Kennedy Space Center this weekend will mark the launch of the Artemis 1 mission, which will launch a vacuum capsule to the moon to test it for future astronauts. Between 100,000 and 200,000 visitors were expected around the center. By comparison, SpaceX’s first manned launch in 2020 attracted 220,000 people.

Spatial hype

“The historic nature” of this first flight of the US program back to the Moon “definitely raised public interest,” said Meagan Happel of the Florida Space Coast Tourist Board. Traffic jams were expected on the road as early as 4 a.m. The postponed take-off should see people flocking at the end of the week.

Hotels on the coast have been full for several weeks and parking spaces near the best viewpoints are limited. Lucky, an American was able to rent an apartment not far from the beach, and will go up with her two children on a boat chartered for the occasion. For 95 dollars per ticket, “we will go into the ocean as close as possible to the launch pad, and we will see the takeoff from the boat”, she marvels in advance.

For the region, the return of prestigious space launches is a godsend. A family of three will spend an average of $1,300 over 4 or 5 days, according to the tourist office. Across the sector, stores dedicated to space are full of tourists and customers, who have come to buy Artemis T-shirts printed on site.

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