‘All hands on deck’ for Titusville restaurant open for overnight Artemis I launch

Pier 220 serving space tourists days ahead of Wednesday attempt

At Pier 220 under the A. Max Brewer bridge, general manager Samantha Ablan said even though Wednesday’s Artemis I launch attempt is at 1:04 in the morning, the restaurant with a direct view of Kennedy Space Center and launch pad 39b expects to stay open lat

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – At Pier 220 under the A. Max Brewer Bridge, Pier 220 General Manager Samantha Ablan said even though Wednesday’s Artemis I launch attempt is at 1:04 a.m., the restaurant with a direct view of Kennedy Space Center and launch pad 39B expects to stay open late.

“All hands on deck,” Ablan said about staffing late Tuesday night. “I think that we’ll probably end up being here for it. Plus, we’ll already have a great view for the launch.”

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Over the last two years, Ablan said high profile launches like astronaut missions have meant big business, and the restaurant is already seeing Artemis tourists from out of town.

Retired Boeing employee Mike Coggins traveled from St. Louis to watch the latest attempt.

“This is my wheelhouse,” he said. “This is great stuff.”

Boeing built the Space Launch System’s core stage and despite setbacks this year, Coggins said he’s confident Artemis I will still succeed.

“They can’t afford to fail, so let them get it right,” he said.

Pier 220 said Hurricane Nicole was not as bad for the restaurant as Hurricane Ian was.

Seven weeks ago, the restaurant said it lost power after Ian sent boats on the Indian River crashing into power lines.

Nicole’s impact on Titusville can be seen at the Canaveral National Seashore where erosion is closing some beach accesses.

Given the overnight window, the Space Coast Office of Tourism said crowds might be smaller than the previous launch attempts.

Between 50,000 and 100,000 people are expected to watch this time.


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About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.