Florida Today from Cocoa, Florida on February 4, 1984 · Page 3A
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Florida Today from Cocoa, Florida · Page 3A

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Cocoa, Florida
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Saturday, February 4, 1984
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Page 3A
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TODAY. Saturday. February 4. IBM 3A Backed - up cars? Ll m m 1 J t: uruKen - nnwn n ? i - - - mf , a beautiful launch By RICK STANLEY TODAY tftjff Writer Snarled traffic left some motorists growling A broken bus left a group of VIPS In fumes And the Shuttle Challenger left the Space! Coast In a huge cloud of smoke Friday as It began Its attempt to make history as the first Orbiter to both leave and land at Kennedy Space Center ' About 100.000 people, including 26,000 allowed access to the space center, were on hand for the first segment of the scheduled two - part show, according to the Brevard County Sheriff's Department While many of those Shuttle watchers were strug gling with traffic tie - ups, launch control officials were not experiencing any such glitches In their routine "There was some concern over the weather last night and again this morning with the patchy fog on the runway but other than that, it was one of the smoothest countdowns we've ever had," NASA spokesman Jim Mizell said after the launch "It was just beautiful " After a night of on - and - off rain and a patchy early morning fog, the rising sun burned off the low lying clouds, clearing the sky and the way for a liftoff Right on cue. Challenger thundered skyward. Trailing a bright orange flame and a plume pf smoke, the Orbiter rumbled away from the Space Coast on a southeast heading It was visible through the burn of the solid rocket boosters 90 seconds into the flight "Everything was picture - perfect," said KSC spokeswoman Barbara Selby Shuttle watchers along the Space Coast may catch a glimpse of the Orbiter as it passes overhead during the dawn hours, said George T Jenkins, manager of NASA's tracking station on Merrm Island If will appear as a bright point of light similar in brightness to a planet moving swiftly across the southern sky, Jenkins said - ? .. ,. . IBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBi v . .miiiiiiiiiiiiiimiM . BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBTBBn 1 WHTU rf x m bbWT eli H RibbbbbbHI f m CTL J Bin Ilk IK - . ZjttUi$8tt&y - 3ZPi ? j2.Wz - j. .,1 .Jo.ll.iA..l. ..,. , R rrarl Kl TYrIr - Big tlmout twists rJMUiJlm traffic inn Irnntc traffic into knots TODAY Ptwt bv MMcctm OMtmnli MERT WALCOTT HAD PERFECT VIEW . . . Wisconsin man was at Jetty Park Watch the birdie By IIANNA LEA SKOLNICK TODAY Itefl Writer It was so close and yet .so far for thousands of motorists who were caught in a massive traffic snarl at the Kennedy Space Center Friday morning Along with watching the launch from a less than favorable site, they saw a continuous stream of red brake lights as, traffic inch ed forward It wasn't much better outside the space center An unexpectedly large crowd of more than 100,000 many arriving in town at the last minute created traffic jams remi niscent of the first space launches One busload of NASA invited guests never made it to the VIP viewing site The last VIP bus left the Titusville Chamber of Commerce an hour and 20 minutes before the launch and remained mired in NASA Causeway traffic when Challenger soared said Chamber spokeswoman Joanne Richards "We never expected this kind of crowd,' Rich ards said ' Last launch, we had vacant hotel rooms TODAY Pftbte bv J OtHtt tanw CAMPERS CAME OUT IN DROVES . . . large crowd Jammed highways This time, they were booked all the way down to Palm Bay, up to Daytona, Beach and over to Sanford We placed 100 people in private homes and didn t have enough room for everyone " Lyle Tucker was one of many KSC workers who was late to work Friday "The shot went up beautifully, but I think the traffic stinks." he said Like thousands of others, the Pan Am employee was caught in bumper to - bumperbumper traffic "It s a shame we can send a man to the moon, but we can t get a few thousand people to the Cape I think they can do better than this " Tucker leaned against the steel blue pickup truck with its driver J D Smith who also was late report ing to work The two men watched the launch from outside their truck "I didn t think I'd be watching it from the road," Smith said And now I m more than 35 mln utes late for work ' KSC officials said it was the Sam launch time that caused the tie - ups The few thousand backed up motorists were mostly KSC employees, plus press people and visi tors who waited until the last minute before driving out to the site ' Gates 1, 2 and 3 all came to a standstill," said NASA spokeswoman Bart bars Selby "Everyone showed up at the last minute trying to get various places at one time " Similar problems were avoided in previous launches because the liftoff time did not coincide with early morning employee work hours, Selby said When launch time neared, the L road bound motorists shut off their cars, tuned their car radios into stations with Shuttle coverage, stood on the pavement and watched the Orbiter burst into the sky About 19,250 Cars passed through KSC gates for. the launch "Friday morning Selby said There were a few minor " fender - benders," but no major injuries were reported A spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol sold traffic on two - lane SR 3 was slowed further by a 5 45 a m accident in which ' two cars stopped and one didn't ' Staff Writer Joan Hell er contributed to this story t , ' i jgfaejjaabfBtw j,ana1RajBjwnnsnnjj aaaBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBafaW .C.aanlaBfBBa'BaaBr m - t 'jfcfcff Mk &&, jaattaaaaaBanaaaaaaaH M - SaaLaaalaaaanaaaaaaaB viiaaaaaaanaBW It? sflaaaaaanaaafcr k A, KjnHiu .1. HAfl ABllHHIIHflHLr aE8aaaaaaaaHaaaaH 3sBEHL!2iLiBnnHalaHHHafBBB TODAY Pttete bv Malcolm Dvmtmsrh ;& ir Lynn and Louisa Moore, Melbourne winter residents, view the launch from Jetty Park near Port Canaveral Coming home KSC landing or not tourist boom looms By ROB PEREZ TODAY Staff writer Local motel operators say they have received few inquiries about the scheduled Shuttle landing at Kennedy Space Center. But they expect their rooms to be full or near full, nonetheless The brisk business won't be because of the first - ever Shuttle touchdown at KSC, planned for next Saturday, they say It will be because of the tourist season February and March are among Brevard's peak tourist months, and businesses that cater to Visitors will be busy, say the motel operators i "Whether the Shuttle lands or not Isn't going to affect us," said John Vraney, general manager of the 130 - room Quality Inn in Cocoa Beach "We'll still be full " Because this is peak season, some people here for the launch had trouble finding rooms "We were putting them anywhere we could," said Margaret Waldie, office manager for the Cocoa Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. "It was one of the very busiest launches we've had " Several motel managers contacted Friday said they were fully booked the night before the launch, but were expecting vacancies after the weekend. "Business has been super," said Jeanette Thompson, manager of the 41 - room Best Western Executive Motel In Cocoa Beach., "We could have rented SO more rooms if we had them " Thompson said she expects to be about 90 percent full next weekend, with most of the business corning from winter tourists. . At the Three Oaks Motel in Titusville, manager Maxine Gets has had to turn away people all week. And some were not here for the Shuttle. "There were a lot of people who came in and didn't know anything about the Shuttle,' Gets said. But aome observers believe Interest will pick up next week. Gets said tourists will come even though they can't see the actual landing. They don't care If they can't tee It," Gets added. "Just to tee the Shuttle flying through the air, people will come for miles." For Shuttle, KSC runway is always open By LARRY SEEL TODAY Writer T Although Challenger la scheduled to land on Kennedy Space Center! concrete runway at 7:1 turn, next Saturday, the - mlle atrip will be kept on rtandlty throughout the mission. " , - '' NASA spokesman Jim Mizell said Friday the runway can be readied for an emergency Shuttle' landing within three orbits, a period of tour to five bgura. If necessary, ha said, (be runway can be prepared "at an orbit's notice'' about SO minutes. " Mizell said a skeleton crew of 30 to 23 workers will be kept at the runway site around the clock. Standby equipment such as generators and air conditioners is kept on band. t - r II H ii1 If il aaanBBjBnpjpajaMpajBnaBM t3lft3li?KV iaBBBBBBBBBBBBkHWBnBV.BTlHK JKl" agjK, UJ Ms 'ILaHeaa.aaWiiriMLaaaHH'raU b SsBHHp! TODAY flute bv Mirlllll Tbbnwb SMIUNG AND READY TO GO, CHALLENGER'S CREW WALKS OUT TO SHUTTLE . from left, Bruce McCandless, Bob Stewart, Ron McNalr, Robert 'Hoof Gibson, Vance Brand Master trackers keep lines open to Shuttle crew By LINDA HALL TODAY oM writer Hidden behind the walls of a stark white building in a 7emofesoulhwesrcorner6r KennedjrSpace Center, the ' eyes and ears" of NASA are seldom seen or heard Although they work 24 hours a day, 385 days a year, the 126 employees of the Merntt Island Launch Area Station have ' no sour grapes about" their anonymity, said Station Director George T Jenkins Maybe that s because the only time the media notices M1LA which tracks communicates and records data from the Space Shuttle is when things go wrong And that s not often, Jenkuis - said, crossing ha fingers Stul there was trie time diet the station lost communication with Apollo II, the first moon landing mission, three minutes before liftoff v Without communications the mission would have to be scrubbed So M1LA employees scrambled around, you know tring to find what happened " Jenkins said 1 It seems the astronaut in charge of communications at KSC's launch control center had "inadvertently deselected the radio communications," Jenkins said The astronaut pushed the button disconnecting the radio link to the capsule "We found (the problem), verified it and told him what to do to get (communications) back," Jenkins said "We lifted off on time " With a combination of hard work and luck, MILA "never has been the cause of delaying a launch," Jenkins said That is a major accomplishment considering the station, which is part of Goddard Space Flight Center's Spaceflight Tracking and Data Network, is responsible for tracking and recording scientific data from 23 NASA satellites as well as monitoring Shuttles "We do a lot of neat things here," Link Controller Ron Waller said Thanks to its location next to KSC, MILA's duties are many The station must link the numerous spacecraft launched at KSC to their respective control center, launch control at KSC and mission control at Houston Space Center Scanning the skies with four large dish antennas, MILA's Bendix Field Engineering Corp staff follows the spacecraft and records data around the clock During Shuttle missions, MILA employees work "12 hours, maybe 15 hours, but after 12 hours they get a little bleary - eyed," Jenkins said As soon as the Shuttle is disconnected from the tower, it becomes MILA's baby But the aluminum content of the exhaust plume from the solid rocket boosters blocks communication from the Shuttle for about a minute So tracking must be transferred to MILA's smaller tracking station at Ponce de Leon Inlet, 40 miles north of KSC The Ponce de Leon station can track the Shuttle from a side angle For the first time, MILA will be responsible for picking up the Shuttle on its 7 19 a m return landing at KSC next Saturday "We don't know (how the tracking and communications will work) Only experience will tell," Jenkins sard Although MILA's location at KSC creates more work for the station, it also ensures a bright future Goddard, which is in Greenbelt, Md , is turning to Tracking and Data Relay Satellites to replace ground stations, but MILA will continue to handle spacecraft on the ground and those above the satellites Ailing child gets his wish and loves it i By IIANNA LEA SKOLNICK TODAY tad Writer Reality was even better than be Imagined, Locke Hutson'said Friday after seeing one of his dreams come true the wttnes - i sing of a Shuttle launch. 1 The 7 - year - o!d's biggest desire was made possible Friday by an organization called Dreams Come True, 'which turns wishes into realities for children with life - threat - enlrig illnesses. Locke's chronic blood disease, called viral hemophilia, subjects him to painful operations, transfusions and medications. The shy, blond, freckled - faced boy said after the launch that his dream was everything he thought It would be, and more Locke and parents. Dee and Art Hutson, arrived Thursday in Brevard from their Greenville, S C, home. They rode a tour bus to the VIP viewing site at Kennedy Space Center. "When U went up, I turned to get a picture of Locke's face," the boy's mother said. "He was overwhelmed. He didn't say anything It was more a look like, 'Should I pinch myself? Am I really here?' " Locke said he felt "happy" when he saw the Shuttle go up. And be wondered what the astronauts inside were feeling. The thing that impressed him most was "how fast the Shuttle got off the ground," he said The year - old Dreams Come True program was inspired by a Georgia boy at Emory University Clinic in Atlanta who, before he died, realized his dream of owning an autographed football from the Atlanta Falcons: , Louise Thompson, who bought the football for the boy, now coordinates the Dreams Come True program out of Rlverdale, Ga. Thompson arranged the Hutsons' free trip to KSC and an impending one to Disney World in Orlando. Eleanor and Craig Nickelson of Merntt Island housed the Hut - sons during their visit "It's been wonderful playing a small part in helping Locke realize his dream." Eleanor Nickelson said The Nick - elsons serve in the all volunteer Dreams Come True program Locke has always been interested in space and science, he might even want to "go to the moon" some day, his mother said. ."The thing that has meant so much to me is that there are people who see that these children have something special o remember," Locke's mother said. "And it's Important for others like Locke to realize that their dreams cn come true, too " SBnnanaBnap9B' rfjganaaa aaaavar lbal IE" WkeV, - ,AV Vl.ti P WMnBtarttaaaWlinUl I aaaRP,itat2 MaKaHl LOCKE HUTSON i true

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