Spaceflight Insider

We Are Go Florida – Becoming a Vacationaut

we-are-go-vacationaut-make-space-part-of-your-vacation image credit We Are Go campaign posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Image Credit: We Are Go Campaign

“Nothing makes a Florida vacation better than doing something space related.”

When your average family or traveler finds their way to the Sunshine State, their first thoughts are, typically, which theme park to tackle first, or which beaches to visit before returning home. But what if there was something just as awe-inspiring as an immense theme park or white sandy beaches? Space Florida is itching to show the public its side of the state – We Are Go Florida.

we-are-go-vacationaut-dusk-launch We Are Go image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Image Credit: We Are Go

Developed by Chief Creative Officer Tom Merrick and a team at Paradise Advertising in St. Petersburg, FL, this consumer brand boasts an interactive phone app, website, and social media tags. With roughly 100 million tourists visiting Florida every year, Paradise hopes this campaign will draw interest to the fun attractions over on the Space Coast.

The We Are Go Vacationauts app for smartphones provides interactive quizzes and missions for people to become engaged and learn about space. The main feature is the launch compass which always points to Cape Canaveral, FL, aiming its user in the direction of the next launch. “There’s nothing like witnessing a launch… It’s a powerful experience,” Merrick said, emphasizing his team’s focus on getting tourists to experience the regular launches taking place in Florida.

Currently, the Vacationauts app and website provide recommended viewing locations for upcoming launches, such as Cocoa Beach and New Smyrna Beach. Paradise and Space Florida hope to add an option to buy tickets to the launches and launch parties in the near future. The app also suggests visits to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex and all of its attractions.

Created by Lab Partners out of San Francisco, CA, the posters heading the campaign include the old style graphics of the 1960s while being cartoonish. By making these posters appeal to those of the old school Apollo landings and kids today, Lab Partners has captured the essence of the classic Space Race and the dawning new age in space travel.

We Are Go Vacationauts currently has two 30-second videos airing on cable television, spreading the encouragement to experience the Space Coast. Featuring the Vacation Commander, each video relays a fun and comical tone targeting all audiences.

As commercial spaceflight moves within gripping distance of the average person with the help of people like Jeff Bezos and Blue Origins, We Are Go Vacationauts has already incorporated this aspect into their campaign. One day, “Vacationauts” may become the vernacular for commercial space fliers. The term was coined by Paradise in hopes for this to be the case. While relating a commercial flier to an astronaut, they’ve incorporated the special experience of flying a real mission with the fun experienced while on vacation.

The overall theme for the Vacationauts campaign is to get the general public engaged in the space program and its ever-advancing future. In the 1960s, America was pushing to put men on the Moon, bringing rise to the Apollo missions. Now, in 2016, Elon Musk of SpaceX as well as NASA are pushing for deep space travel to Mars. Space is happening now, and We Are Go Vacationauts wants everyone to experience its biggest hype since the lunar landings.

Video courtesy of We Are Go


Mackenzie Kane is currently working towards receiving her Bachelors degree in Planetary Sciences and Physics at the Florida Institute of Technology. For the past several years, Kane's area of active research has been with NASA's Kepler Space Telescope mission and its search for extrasolar planets. Kane has a deep love of learning about the mysteries that space holds through the ever-growing technology that is launched into orbit. My goal upon graduation is to continue writing about the exciting research and technology furthering our presence in space and delivering it to the public in easily accessible ways. Kane was accepted as the second intern from Florida Tech to write for SpaceFlight Insider and our outlet will now work to provide her with access and experience.

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