KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – Brevard County is planning for major congestion in and around Kennedy Space Center next week because of the Artemis I launch.
The first moon mission for the Artemis program has a targeted launch day of Monday, Aug. 29, with a two-hour window that opens at 8:33 a.m. Officials are expecting upwards of about 200,000 people to come to the area for the launch.
The heaviest traffic is expected between 5 - 10 a.m. on the day of the launch.
[TRENDING: VIDEO: Boat explosion injures 4 in Daytona Beach | Wet week on tap as strong storms expected | Win tickets to watch Artemis 1 rocket launch | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]
The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization said there will also be five cruise ships at Port Canaveral that morning, which will add potentially thousands of people into the traffic mix.
𝐀𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐬 𝐋𝐚𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐡 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜 𝐔𝐏𝐃𝐀𝐓𝐄: 𝐍𝐎 𝐔-𝐓𝐔𝐑𝐍𝐒 𝐚𝐭 𝐆𝐞𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐞 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐁𝐥𝐯𝐝. 𝐨𝐫 𝐨𝐧 𝐒𝐑 𝟓𝟐𝟖: We are 5 days away from the #Artemis launch on 8/29 with a 2-hour launch window opening at 08:33 am. Here are the 𝐋𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐒𝐓 traffic updates. pic.twitter.com/T6kj1lL7Ze— Space Coast TPO (@SpaceCoastTPO) August 25, 2022
Once the rocket launches, law enforcement and transportation officials will implement a plan to move traffic smoothly out of the northern part of the county.
In the Titusville area, all drivers north of Harrison Street will be routed northbound out of the city to State Road 46. Vehicles south of Harrison will be routed southbound to Cheney Highway. This includes any drivers along U.S. 1 (North Washington Avenue). Those drivers will then be able to travel west on S.R. 46 or Cheney Highway.
Eastbound drivers on State Road 528 will proceed eastbound to A1A south. Use S.R. 520 westbound as an alternate to S.R. 528. Westbound drivers on S.R. 528 will continue west on S.R. 528.
Titusville police said the Max Brewer Bridge, an area that’s a popular launch viewing spot, will be closed for an hour after the launch for pedestrian traffic.
Anyone leaving the bridge or on Garden Street will be routed west out of the city.
Further south, drivers who want to go westbound from A1A in the Cocoa Beach area will need to go to State Road 520 to meet up with S.R. 528.
Meanwhile, drivers on A1A northbound need will not be able to go west onto State Road 520. They will have to either go up to S.R. 528 and go west. No U-turns will be allowed on S.R. 528 or on George King Boulevard.
NASA has three possible launch dates for this first mission for the Artemis program:
- Aug. 29: Two-hour launch window opens at 8:33 a.m., 42-day mission with an Oct. 10 splashdown
- Sept. 2: Two-hour launch window opens at 12:48 p.m., 39-day mission with an Oct. 11 splashdown
- Sept. 5: One and a half-hour launch window opens at 5:12 p.m., 42-day mission with an Oct. 17 splashdown
When the launch happens, News 6 will stream it live.