Campers stake out at Jetty Park ahead of 1st fully-private crewed launch to space station

Axiom Mission 1 launch is scheduled for Friday at 11:17 a.m.

Excitement is building as thousands along the Space Coast are gearing up for a rocket launch on Friday that will bring four astronauts to the International Space Station.

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Excitement is building as thousands along the Space Coast are gearing up for a rocket launch on Friday that will bring four astronauts to the International Space Station.

Jetty Park, which is a popular viewing location, was already starting to fill up with campers staking out their spot for the Axiom Mission 1 liftoff.

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Sarah Martin said the launch is part of a trip with her family from Atlanta, Georgia.

“We were looking for a fun campsite that we could also see the space launch,” Martin said. “I think it’s going to be pretty packed. I think it might be a little bit of a party scene.”

The first all-private crewed mission also brings big expectations for nearby businesses.

Peter Cranis, who is the executive director at the Space Coast Office of Tourism, said launches like this one can bring in a lot of money to the local economy.

“We get anywhere from 100,000 to several hundred thousand people for these bigger types of launches,” he said. “Frankly, that translates to tens of millions of dollars into our economy.”

Cranis said the impact has been increasing with a busy launch schedule. Last month Elon Musk said SpaceX has a goal of launching 60 rockets this year.

“In our marketing that we put out there, we’re basically telling people that ‘Hey, if you come to the space coast for your beach holiday, there’s a good chance that you’re going to see a launch,’” Cranis said.

The Axiom Mission 1 launch is scheduled for Friday at 11:17 a.m. from Kennedy Space Center.


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.