SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Launch Gets NASA Launchpad LeaseBy Amanda Foster, UniversityHerald Reporter
SpaceX is getting ready to launch its Falcon 9 rocket pretty soon. But with the tech company's plan to launch their rockets every two to three weeks, Elon Musk's team would need a launchpad to accommodate their needs.
After the Falcon 9 explosion in September last year, SpaceX is looking at alternatives for its launches. Recently, reports indicate that SpaceX is going to continue its launches from Cape Canaveral but it will not be launching from its normal pad at the Air Force Station - Launch Complex 40. Instead, SpaceX will be rocketing out of Launch Complex 39A.
Launch Complex 39A is the historic launchpad that was used for the first Moon mission, as reported by The Verge. NASA used the site for its Space Shuttle launches and it is the pad that sent astronauts to the Moon via the Saturn V rockets. On 2011, NASA has concluded its Shuttle program.
Which leaves the launch pad unattended. Now, SpaceX has signed a 20 year lease with NASA for the use of the pad. SpaceX would then need to fix up the launch pad for Falcon 9 as well as designing it to support Falcon Heavy.
This year, SpaceX started its launch at the Vandenberg Air Force Base and the next launch with the Falcon 9 will happen on Feb. 18. In the future, SpaceX hopes to launch a rocket every two to three weeks. Having a launchpad ready, provided there are no more dramatic explosions, will make this goal possible for the space tech company.
SpaceX Corporate President Gwynne Shotwell says that launching a rocket every two to three weeks will mean that SpaceX will reach its goal of reducing the cost of space travel. For the tech company, this is possible. They would need to not only repair and prepare the launch pads fast, but they would also need to modify the rocket's engines to increase performance and resolve safety concerns, as reported by the CS Monitor.
Missed the January launch? Here's a live stream clip from RT, below: