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Bruce Buckingham
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

RELEASE : 42-06
Playalinda Beach, Wildlife Refuge to Close for Shuttle Launch
The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Playalinda Beach will be closed to the public from June 28 through July 1 for the STS-121 Discovery launch. The beach will reopen the next day and the refuge will reopen about one hour following a successful launch.

The Discovery launch is scheduled for 3:49 p.m. EDT on July 1.

The launch countdown begins at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 28. Safety and security concerns require that the beach and the refuge be closed to the public throughout the shuttle launch countdown.

Other Canaveral National Seashore beaches, such as Apollo Beach, will remain open during Discovery's launch. People can access these beaches through New Smyrna Beach.

For additional information on the closing of Playalinda Beach, contact the National Park Service at 321-267-1110. For information on the Wildlife Refuge, call 321-861-0668.

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