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SpaceX will lease Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida

According to, SpaceX will lease Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in a 20-year agreement with NASA. The launchpad will be modified for SpaceX's purposes while also preserving the historic aspects.
Launch Complex 39A saw 11 Apollo missions, including the Apollo 11 flight that took Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the moon. It also saw the first and last Space Shuttle launch
"Pad 39A is a historic pad, as we all know, and I am so excited that NASA selected us to be one of their partners and also to be their partner in developing 39A as we move forward into the future of space launch," said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's president and chief operating officer.

"We'll make great use of this pad, I promise." 

SpaceX plans on launching its first Falcon Heavy rocket from Kennedy early next year. 

NASA last used launchpad 39A in 2011 when the Space Shuttle program concluded. It then opened the pad for tours in 2012, and put it up for lease in 2013 when it no longer wanted to pay the maintenance costs of something it wasn't using. 

SpaceX and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin were both up for the lease, but SpaceX ended up winning, as it already completed missions to the International Space Station (ISS) and has a contract with NASA. Blue Origin was busy trying to persuade NASA to allow multiple companies to use the pad.

In the meantime, NASA will use Launch Complex 39B for its own Space Launch System, which is a heavy rocket meant to take astronauts to a near-Earth asteroid around 2025 and Mars in 2030. 


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By Grast5150 on 4/16/2014 5:50:09 PM , Rating: 0
Simple. Musk knew he could create a launch system that complied with all of NASA requirements without the oversight of the NASA. That is where most of the issues with NASA occurs, oversight and empire building. The government workers insist on creating empires within NASA for the sole purpose of guaranteeing their job. With that type of mindset, any solution is convoluted with pet projects and tech which has little to nothing to do with the goal of the project.

Prime case is look-up the MARS Direct Program specs. You will notice that plan did not require the shuttle or IIS. That is the reason it was never pursued. Too many managers in NASA wanted to keep their pet projects alive.

The space shuttle was a great achievement but a space truck too small to carry modern satellites and no where to go. The IIS is just plain useless. We can do the same level of science which is performed on the IIS with Skylab style of temporary space station.

In the end, Musk will be the leader in future space flight.


By Mint on 4/16/2014 7:22:23 PM , Rating: 4
First of all, this isn't about NASA. SpaceX is beating everyone else on price in the commercial launch sector as well, including Russia, India, and China. Over half of SpaceX's upcoming business is from the commercial sector. Even United Launch Alliance, with all their investment from Lockheed and Boeing, is using Russian rockets.

Secondly, how the **** could Musk know that? It's ridiculously hard to get cost estimates for that until you're already tens of millions into the business. This isn't like building a car, where there's countless suppliers making everything for you.

BTW, do you mean ISS?

Also, empire building happens in big companies just as much, if not more. You should listen to Marc Tarpenning's talk on cofounding Tesla.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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