Cruising the Space Coast

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Somewhere above Titusville, as you cruise through the 18th Century on Mosquito Lagoon, the enormous Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, across the Banana River from Cape Canaveral, looms into view to the south. It’s your first clue that you’re leaving the historic First Coast and entering the futuristic Space Coast.

There's still a lot happening at the Space Center! If  you’re fortunate enough to be in the area when launches are scheduled, hang around and watch. If you're there at any other time, don't despair, the Kennedy Space Center  Visitor Complex is open almost every day (the exceptions are Christmas and certain launch days). For current hours and admission info, call the Visitor Complex: 321- 449-4444. There are several menus to choose from, so probably all of your questions can be answered.

We have been somewhat assured in our queries that all of the security apparatus at "the Cape" remains in place and the marvelous museum will be open "forever."

The Space Center is but a short cab ride from any of the area's marinas and should be an interesting side trip, especially if kids are along. Through interactive exhibits, guided bus tours and movies (giant screen IMAX productions!), the Visitor Complex will give you an up close and personal view of NASA's space-exploration history. You can still see actual components of the International Space Station and a full-scale mock-up of the habitation module. A visit to the Visitor Complex is almost guaranteed to get your adrenaline flowing and will certainly inspire feelings of awe and national pride.

Remember, the Space Center remains a working facility and all visitors will be subject to security clearance procedures! Although our country's shuttles have been discontinued, rocket launches continue and we've been advised that the best place to check on those schedules is at SpaceFlightNow.com. The Kennedy Space Center's own site — KennedySpaceCenter.com — also includes schedules on many events taking place in the area.

So, here is a condensed version of the information supplied for several previous editions, which may not be totally accurate later, but most probably will be:
During normal Kennedy Space Center/Cape Canaveral Air Force Station operations, the Banana River area north of KARS Park to the NASA Causeway (SR 405) is a no-motor zone. The waters North of KARS Park are restricted at launch-times to any boating.
This area is just about 1.5 miles north of the Barge Canal and the Port on the Banana River.

NOTE: The security zone in the vicinity of Kennedy Space Center, which was previously only active for launches, was activated on a rather permanent basis on October 1, 2001 at which time it was announced that it would remain in effect until cancelled. Certain exceptions to the zone have been set for those periods when full activation is not necessary. Of interest to folks cruising the ICW, the area west of Haulover canal and south of the ICW will be open to all traffic. The area east of Haulover canal and south to a line from the tracking tower west to the wildlife management ramp will be open during daylight hours only to boats with shallow enough draft.  (Continue...)

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