For launch spectators, storms more worrisome than virus

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TITUSVILLE, Fla. (AP) — For the spectators who gathered along Florida’s Space Coast for an astronaut launch, the rumbling thunder, darkening clouds and a downpour were more worrisome than any pandemic.

But neither kept the crowds from jamming local parks and beaches until the launch was called off.

At a park in Titusville, about a third of the spectators wore masks as encouraged by health officials.

NASA and SpaceX had urged spectators to stay at home for safety reasons. But local officials rolled out the welcome mat in an effort to jump-start a tourism industry hit hard by virus restrictions.

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