New Smyrna Beach draws space fans to watch Artemis I launch

Labor Day weekend always brings a boost to beach towns like New Smyrna Beach, but now businesses are anticipating even more than space fans flock to the coast to watch history. 

Local resident Lisa Meyers said people packed the beach Monday to watch the Artemis launch before it was scrubbed.  "There was just people sitting everywhere in their lawn chairs," she said. A lot of people had their cameras up and stuff." 

While it’s not the Space Coast of Brevard County to the south, Meyers said the views are just as breathtaking with fewer crowds. "It’s beautiful to watch it from here, it's truly amazing and you don’t have to deal with as much traffic that’s closer to the Cape," she said. 


The Breakers Restaurant, right off Flagler Avenue, opened up early Monday knowing people would come out. "We said why not open up a little early, get some people some drinks, you know, so we did a lot of Bloody Marys, mimosas, and it was just a great time," said manager Elliot Schaafsma. 

With guaranteed holiday crowds and now space fans, Schaafsma said business will be booming on Flagler Avenue this weekend. "We’ll handle it. We always do and you know people come down to get a great burger and a great view," he said. 

NASA officials say the countdown to launch the Artemis I moon mission has resumed.

The mission management team met on Thursday to review the status of the operations and have given a "go" for a Saturday launch attempt of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft. It comes after technical issues scrubbed Monday’s attempt.