Brevard County discouraging large crowds for rocket launches

Many popular viewing areas closed for Atlas V launch Thursday

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Along with Kennedy Space Center, the Canaveral National Seashore and Jetty Park, there will be another major rocket launch viewing area now also off limits to the public Thursday.

The military announcing that the bleachers and the lawn on the northside of Port Canaveral are now closed, too, for the Atlas V launch at 2:57 p.m.

This spot can attract a couple hundred people, which at this time Brevard County officials do not want so for space fan Rick Rossow, whose personal favorite is Jetty Park, he’ll be watching somewhere else.

He's thinking next to the Beachline causeways on the Banana River.

On launch days, it's typically full of cars.

"Stay apart, best you can," Rossow said about a potential large crowd.

Brevard County government advises to, “Avoid mass gatherings and treat everyone else as though they might be contagious. If you can find a place that meets that criteria, then enjoy the launch,” communications director Don Walker said.

Brevard public beaches are still open and the public is welcome to watch the launch from the beach, if the closed parking lots don't spoil plans.

That's what happened to William Mendoza Monday when he drove out to Cocoa Beach from Orlando.

Mendoza said he couldn't find parking anywhere.

"I think that's wrong," he said. "If they're going to close the beach, they should close the beach and not allow anybody."

Those not attending the launch can watch a livestream of the mission on ClickOrlando.com.

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