SpaceX is proposing a significant increase in launch activity in Florida over the next few years, including missions to polar orbits and those that will require the use of a new vertical payload integration tower.
SpaceX plans to build facilities at the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A for launches and, eventually, landings of its next-generation launch vehicle, according to a newly released report.
SpaceX plans to significantly expand its footprint at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, a sign that its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets will play a key role for the company for years to come even as it develops a more powerful vehicle.
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center will remain closed through at least Sept. 14 as teams continue to evaluate damage there caused by Hurricane Irma.
NASA and companies that operate launch sites and other facilities at Cape Canaveral are preparing for the arrival of a powerful hurricane that has already postponed one launch on the other side of the country.
A panel of former NASA astronauts and officials offered tentative support Feb. 16 for an agency study announced this week to examine putting a crew on the first flight of the Space Launch System.
A powerful hurricane moving up Florida’s east coast Oct. 7 caused some damage to NASA, military and commercial facilities at Cape Canaveral, but far less than what some had feared prior to the storm’s arrival.
As SpaceX continues the investigation into a Sept. 1 accident that destroyed a Falcon 9 and damaged its Cape Canaveral launch pad, the company said it may use a nearby pad when it is ready to resume launches.
A spacecraft that will fly NASA’s first asteroid sample return mission arrived in Florida May 20 to begin final preparations for its September launch.
Florida and Virginia, ordinarily competitors for space business, have become allies in a little-heralded legislative push to better protect state-operated spaceports from catastrophic events such as launch failures.
NASA will act as a host for the Air Force’s classified X-37B program, which will lease two of the space shuttle’s mothballed processing hangars.
“As long as it’s compatible with our master plan and our future planning, we’ll entertain it,” said Scott Colloredo, director of KSC’s Center Planning and Development Directorate.