SpaceX is moving ahead with plans to upgrade the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, which will serve as a backup to Kennedy Space Center company pillow It is currently used to launch merchandise and crews to space.
During a press conference last week, Bill Gerstenmaier, SpaceX’s vice president of construction and flight reliability, said the company is preparing for necessary upgrades to Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) to prepare it for upcoming cargo and crew launches, Space News reported. SpaceX is currently under a commercial contract with NASA to transport crew and cargo to the International Space Station with its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft.
“We’ve really started work to begin preparations for the Pad 40,” Gerstenmaier said during the briefing. “We’ve ordered some hardware, put some contracts in place.” Initially, the company will only launch cargo missions from the SLC-40, but plans to add crew missions later. “It gives us some flexibility to move some of the things from the 39A, which helps us balance the launches from both cushions,” Gerstenmaier added.
The SLC-40 has been leased to SpaceX from the US Air Force since 2007; The Air Force previously used the launch pad at Cape Canaveral to launch a missile Titan III and IV missiles, which it did from 1965 to 2005. SpaceX is Lease of Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, which is The attachment is used for Crew and cargo missions launched to the International Space Station. The private space company is also working for the inaugural launch of its Super Starship heavy lift missile from launch facility in Boca Chica, Texaswith The CEO of the company, Elon Musk, recently claimed this Can fly as early as November.
The company in the end It plans to launch the megarocket from the Kennedy Space Center. NASA chose the spacecraft for Humans will land on the moon by late 2025 As part of the space agency’s Artemis 3 mission. To this end, SpaceX is building a massive launch tower for the spacecraft a few hundred meters from the launch tower of Platform 39A. The launch tower is 1,000 feet (300 meters) high. approaching completionWith the addition of the sixth and seventh sections this summer. But the thought of a Starship being anywhere near Panel 39A seems to make NASA a bit Nervous, especially when it comes to SpaceX processing Commercial Crew Obligations.
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You see, SpaceX has a history of exploding its model rockets on the platform. In 2016, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket explodes on the Cape Canaveral launch pad, resulting in extensive damage that took over a year to repair. Other Tricks Include Launchpad a eight The second hard-firing test of a Starship prototype Finished with brush fireAnd the In an incident last month.
According to Reuters mentioned In June, NASA officials told SpaceX that a spacecraft explosion near LC-39A could cut off the space agency’s only means of launching astronauts to the International Space Station, hsince then Desire to have a backup launch pad. Accordingly, SpaceX will upgrade the board in Cape Canaveral, but Gerstenmaier says the company won’t bring Starship to Kennedy until it’s ready in prime time. Starship Currently undergoing tests in Boca Chica Advance of bulkyThe first orbital test of the missile. “Our goal is to bring the Starship to 39A after we have a reliable car. We will do a series of tests in Boca [Chica] To make sure the car is ready to go. “When we think we have a good, reliable car, we bring it up to the 39A,” Gerstenmaier said during the briefing.
The Starship is a fully reusable heavy launch vehicle designed to carry supplies and passengers to Earth and Moon orbit and possibly even other destinations like Mars. This is all well and good, but perhaps NASA is right to be a little wary about having this rocket on its property.
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