LAKE MARY, Fla. - The significance of Monday's planned launch of NASA's Artemis 1 mission is not lost on Space Coast school administrators.
"This is an historic moment for our community, drawing attention from across the globe," said Brevard Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Dr. Mark Mullins. "What an exciting, and busy, time to live on the Space Coast!"
Schools in Brevard County will remain open on Monday and regular school bus routes will be running, officials said, but allowances will be made for traffic congestion and delays. The Florida Highway Patrol and officials with Brevard County's Emergency Operations Center anticipate heavy traffic throughout the morning, but particularly, in the hours after the launch.
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The two-hour launch window opens at 8:33 a.m. Delays of roughly two hours are expected following the launch as thousands will have flocked to the coast to witness history in the making.
BPS said that while there will be some bus route adjustments and modifications, no changes will be made to existing bus stops. The county's Bus Bulletin notification system will push notices to parents, alerting them to any delays along their student’s routes. Notifications will be posted on the BPS Facebook page.
"We understand and fully anticipate traffic could be difficult. We are in regular contact with law enforcement and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Their expectation is that traffic before the launch will be heavy, but manageable," said Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Mullins. "The good news is traffic is expected to be close to normal by the time our schools release for the day, meaning our school buses and parents picking up their children should be able to avoid the worst of the traffic issues."
Dr. Mullins is advising families to make arrangements that best fit their needs. "If this means you will be keeping your child at home for the day, they will receive a parent’s excused absence," he said.
Officials are requesting that parents make their student’s school aware of their intentions as soon as possible.
"Again, this is an exciting time for our entire community. However, it will come with some logistical challenges that we will have to work through together," Dr. Mullins added.