Massive crowds turn out for Crew-2 launch in Brevard County

200,000 were expected to watch launch

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – SpaceX delivered a stunning show early Friday as spectators traveled to Brevard County to witness liftoff of the Crew-2 mission.

Hundreds gathered before sunrise at Space View Park, which is along the shoreline of the Indian River in Titusville.

At 5:49 a.m., the crowd cheered as the Falcon 9 rocket launch lit up the sky.

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Jeff Takle and his family made the trip from Boston for what they described as the experience of a lifetime.

“That was so cool, it was awesome,” Takle said. “You could hear it. You could feel it. There’s just something different about being here.”

For his wife Heather, thoughts of the crew on board stuck in her mind as the rocket left Earth’s atmosphere.

“All I could think was Godspeed to those astronauts up above,” Heather Takle said. “There are some brave men and women up there that’s for sure.”

The couple’s son said he was amazed after the rocket’s first stage separated. Flashes of white light pulsed in the sky as thrusters maneuvered the booster into position for its return to Earth.

“It looked like mushrooms behind the thruster when it was coming down. It kind of looked like mushrooms to me,” Grady Takle said.

Normally, the first stage booster is not visible as it comes back for landing on the drone ship at sea, but the pre-sunrise hour created the perfect time to see the booster return as it created a plume in the sky.

Brevard County officials said an estimated 200,000 people were expected to travel to the coast to witness the launch.

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About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.