TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Police offices are expecting crowds to gather on May 27 to watch two astronauts fly to the International Space Station to be comparable to the number of people who came out for the last astronaut launch at Kennedy Space Center.
Lt. TJ Wright worked the traffic during the final flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis in July 2011.
Wright said returning to human spaceflight is exciting, but because of the pandemic, police are asking those who live locally to watch the launch from their home.
That request is no problem for Dale Nichols who lives on the Indian River with a direct view of the space center.
Nichols said he’ll watch with neighbors from his deck.
"I think the excitement is really good. You just have to be cautious at this time," he said.
Caution is being taken by Titusville's Space Museum.
Mark Marquette and the staff will stay closed until June, voluntarily missing out on what the museum expects would be thousands of dollars in sales.
Marquette said being open for the launch is risky with the number of visitors the city could see.
"Yes, we're a non-profit and need all the money we can get, but public safety's first," he said.
Police said people will be allowed to watch at Spaceview Park and on the sidewalks of the Max Brewer Bridge.
Police do not want the bridge to look the way it did in 2011 so the bridge will be open to traffic, ideally.
“Sometimes pedestrian traffic overwhelms our efforts and before we know it we have to make a last-second decision what we’re going to do, but we’re going to try and keep people on the sidewalks,” Lt. Wright said.
Wednesday, Titusville police will share on social media its new video with traffic tips.