SpaceX Upgrades Florida Launch Pad In Case Of Starship Failure

SpaceX Upgrades Florida Launch Pad In Case Of Starship Failure
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Super Heavy Booster 7 completes 7-engine static fire test at Starbase.

SpaceX’s Super Heavy Booster 7 recently completed a 7-engine static fire test at Starbase.
Image: SpaceX

SpaceX is moving forward with plans to upgrade the launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Kennedy Space Center fill in the company currently used to launch cargo and crews to space.

During a press briefing last week, Bill Gerstenmaier, SpaceX’s vice president of construction and flight reliability, said the company is preparing for upgrades to Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) to prepare it for upcoming cargo and crew launches. This was reported by Space News. SpaceX is currently under a commercial crew contract with NASA to transport crew and cargo to the International Space Station on its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft.

“We have already started work to start preparations for pad 40. We have ordered some equipment, signed some contracts,” Gerstenmaier said during the briefing. Initially, the company will only fly cargo missions from SLC-40, but plans to add crew missions later. “It gives us some flexibility to push some things out of 39A, which helps us balance the releases from both pads,” Gerstenmaier said.

SLC-40 has been leased from the US Air Force to SpaceX since 2007; The Air Force previously used a launch pad at Cape Canaveral to launch it The Titan III and IV rockets it made from 1965 to 2005. SpaceX Leased Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and use the object for Crew and cargo missions to the ISS. A private space company is also working on the first launch of the super from a heavy-lift Starship rocket launcher Boca Chica, Texaswith The CEO’s mate, Elon Musk, recently claimed this He could fly in early November.

The company finally plans to launch the megarocket from the Kennedy Space Center. NASA chose the Starship landing people on the moon by the end of 2025 as part of the space agency’s Artemis 3 mission. To that end, SpaceX is building a giant Starship launch tower a few hundred feet from the launch tower of platform 39A. It is a massive 1,000-foot-tall (300-meter) launch tower is approaching completion, sections six and seven were added this summer. But the idea of ​​having a Starship near pad 39A seems to make NASA a bit nervous particularly frustrating when it comes to SpaceX Continue responsibilities of the commercial staff.

As you can see, SpaceX has a history of prototype rockets exploding on the field. in 2016 SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded it sustained significant damage at the Cape Canaveral launch pad, which took more than a year to repair. Other tricks on the launch pad include year eight Second static fire test of the Starship prototype ended with a brush fire, in an incident last month.

Like Reuters informed In June, NASA officials told SpaceX that a Starship explosion near LC-39A could cut off the space agency’s only means of launching astronauts to the ISS. hhis launch pad desire for backup. According to, SpaceX will upgrade the pad Cape Canaveral, however Gerstenmaier says the company won’t bring Starship to Kennedy until it’s ready for prime time. Starship is currently being tested Boca Chica mega in advancethe first orbital test of the rocket. “Our goal is to get the Starship to 39A once we have a reliable vehicle. We will do a series of tests in Boca [Chica] to make sure the car is ready to go. If we think we have a good and reliable car, we will bring it to 39A,” Gerstenmaier said during the briefing.

Starship is a fully reusable, super-heavy-lift launch vehicle designed to carry supplies and passengers to Earth orbit, the Moon, and possibly Mars. That’s all well and good, but NASA is probably right to be a little wary of owning this rocket.

More: SpaceX’s Starship Rocket Tower in Florida takes shape

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