Jetty Park open as NASA, SpaceX prepare for first manned mission in nearly a decade

SpaceX has scrubbed Wednesday afternoon's manned launch after unfavorable weather conditions continued throughout the entire day. 

SpaceX will try again on Saturday at 3:22 p.m. EDT.


Port Canaveral officials announced on Thursday that Jetty Park, a popular spot to watch rocket launches from, will reopen in phases.

They confirmed to FOX 35 Orlando that no date has been set for reopening but it will be sometime next week.

When it does reopen, they will adhere to the "Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step." plan by Governor Ron DeSantis and open the park in phases. They will also increase safety measures, set new operating hours, limit large group gatherings to 10 or smaller, and promote social distancing with signage. This will include new procedures for entering the park, parking capacity limits, and additional rules for using the fishing pier and beach.

Operating hours will reportedly be from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The Jetty Park Beach and Fishing Pier parking will be limited to current Jetty Park Annual Passholders only. Those with said annual passes will have their expiration date extended by two months. Parking capacity will be limited to just 50 percent, which is 230 vehicles. Once reached, the park will be closed to all vehicles, even passholders. Walk-ins are prohibited as well.

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Port Canaveral officials said that shared water toys, beach chairs, and umbrellas will not be allowed without CPA-approved sanitation procedures. 

In addition, they said that restrooms will be open but there will be periods during the day to allow for regular cleaning and disinfecting.

Prior to visit Jetty Park, Port Canaveral officials advise that you monitor your temperature and health symptoms. Anyone who exhibits fever, cough, or shortness of breath will be asked to not visit Jetty Park until symptom-free for 14 days. 

The Jetty Park Campground is not reopening during phase one. Playgrounds will also remain closed.

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The news of Jetty Park's reopening comes just weeks before SpaceX and NASA are expected to launch the first astronauts from American soil in nearly a decade on May 27 from Kennedy Space Center’s launch complex 39A. According to Spaceflight Now, this will be the first crewed mission into orbit from the U.S. since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011. 

They reported that NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, two veterans of the shuttle program, will ride SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft into orbit on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Liftoff is expected at 4:32 p.m. EDT and you can watch it live on FOX 35 Orlando. 

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