SpaceX to launch rocket from Cape Canaveral for secret mission on Valentine’s Day. Where to watch (2024)

Editor’s note: Just over an hour before the 12:57 a.m. Feb. 14 launch was scheduled for liftoff, SpaceX announced a scrub and another late-night attempt for Thursday, Feb. 15. More info below.

A Florida rocket launch is scheduled on the most romantic holiday —SpaceX USSF-124.

A Federal Aviation Administration operations plan advisory shows a SpaceX launch window for the secretive USSF-124 national security mission extends from 5:30 to 10 p.m. ET Wednesday, Feb. 14, aka Valentine’s Day. A Coast Guard navigational advisory indicates a Falcon 9 rocket will take flight in a northeasterly trajectory. Space Force officials have yet to publicly release information on this mission.

‘Another’ Valentine’s Day launch in Florida

After the SpaceX USSF-124 launch from Cape Canaveral, there’s a NASA rocket launch scheduled from Kennedy Space Center.

The mission? The Intuitive Machines Nova-C lander carrying NASA science and commercial payloads will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program. The previous launch time was set for 12:57 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, aka Valentine's Day, from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center.

However, there was a scrub announced late Tuesday. SpaceX crews have stood down from a late-night attempt at 12:57 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, to launch a Falcon 9 rocket on the Intuitive Machines IM-1 mission from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. In an 11:31 p.m. EST Tuesday tweet, SpaceX officials announced they were standing down "due to off-nominal methane temperatures prior to stepping into methane load."

The new target liftoff time is 1:05 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 15. Odysseus, the private company's moon lander, will launch via NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative and Artemis campaign.

How can I watch the Valentine’s Day rocket launches from Florida?

If you want to watch live rocket launch coverage,FLORIDA TODAY's Space Teamwill provide updatesfor both SpaceX launches atfloridatoday.com/space, starting about 90 minutes before liftoff.

Where can I see a Florida rocket launch in Brevard County?

Pretty much anywhere in Brevard, you'll get a view of the rocket launch. The best views to watch a rocket launch from the Space Coast is along the beach. However, visibility will depend on weather conditions, and people should make sure not to block traffic or rights of way on bridges and to follow posted rules at beaches.

If you are viewing the launch along the Indian River in Titusville from Space View Park or Parrish Park, look east directly across the river.

If you are further south along the Indian River, look northeast.

Playalinda Beach or Canaveral National Seashore is the closest spot to view liftoffbecause it is almost parallel to launch pad 39A. On the beach, look south along the coastline, (you can even see the pad from some spots).

Some hotspots to check out:

•Jetty Park Beach and Pier, 400 Jetty Park Road,Port Canaveral. Note, there's a charge to park.

•Playalinda Beach, 1000 Playalinda Beach Road, Canaveral National Seashore. Note, there's a charge to park, and access to Canaveral National Seashore isn't always granted depending on capacity and time of day.

•Max Brewer Bridge and Parrish Park, 1 A. Max Brewer Memorial Parkway, Titusville.Note,parking is available on both sides of Max Brewer Bridge.

•Space View Park, 8 Broad St., Titusville

•Sand Point Park, 10 E. Max Brewer Causeway, Titusville

•Rotary RiverfrontPark, 4141 S. Washington Ave.,Titusville

•Alan Shepard Park, 299 E. Cocoa Beach Causeway, Cocoa Beach. Note, there could be parkingcosts.

•Cocoa Beach Pier,401 Meade Ave. Parking fee varies.

•Lori Wilson Park, 1400 N. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach. Lori Wilson Park has a dog park, by the way.

•Sidney Fischer Park, 2200 N. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach. Note, there could be parkingcosts.

•Sebastian Inlet Park, 9700 S. State Road A1A, Melbourne Beach (there is a cost to enter)

•Ambersands Beach Park, 12566 N. SR A1A, Vero Beach (free parking)

•South Beach Park, 1700 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach (free parking)

•Alma Lee Loy BridgeinVero Beach

•Merrill Barber BridgeinVero Beach

Where can I see a rocket launch inIndian River County and Martin County?

The best views to watch a rocket launch from neighboring Brevard County, aka the Space Coast, is here along the beach. Visibility in Indian River County and Martin County, part of the Treasure Coast, will depend on weather conditions, and people should make sure not to block traffic or rights of way on bridges and to follow posted rules at beaches. Look due north. Here are some recommended spots:

House of Refuge and beach, 301 S.E. MacArthur Blvd., Stuart

Wabasso Beach Park, 1808 Wabasso Beach Road, Wabasso

State Road A1A causeway in Stuart

Fort Pierce Inlet, 905 Shorewinds Drive

Sebastian Inlet Park, 9700 S. State Road A1A, Melbourne Beach (there is a cost to enter)

Ambersands Beach Park, 12566 N. SR A1A, Vero Beach (free parking)

South Beach Park, 1700 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach (free parking)

Alma Lee Loy BridgeinVero Beach

Merrill Barber BridgeinVero Beach

Pretty much anywhere in Brevard, you'll get a view of the rocket launch. That includes Melbourne Beach, which borders Indian River County, or from Grant-Valkaria along the Indian River Lagoon.

Where can I see a rocket launch inVolusia County?

The best views to watch a rocket launch from neighboring Brevard County, aka the Space Coast, is here along the beach. Look due south. Readers have also mentioned seeing a rocket launch from Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach. Here are some recommended spots:

South New Smyrna Beach(Canaveral National Seashore), there may be parking costs

Bethune Beach, 6656 S. Atlantic Ave.

Apollo Beachat Canaveral National Seashore (south of New Smyrna Beach)

Oak Hill riverfront, Sites include Sunrise Park, 275 River Road; Goodrich's Seafood and Oyster House back deck, 253 River Road; Seminole Rest national historic site, 211 River Road; and Riverbreeze Park, 250 H.H. Burch Road.

Rick Nealeis a Space Reporter at FLORIDA TODAY (for more of his stories,click here.) Contact Neale at 321-242-3638 orrneale@floridatoday.com. Twitter/X:@RickNeale1

SpaceX to launch rocket from Cape Canaveral for secret mission on Valentine’s Day. Where to watch (2024)
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