KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Complex 39A, the site from which numerous Apollo and space shuttle missions began, is beginning a new mission as a commercial launch site.
NASA signed a property agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., on Monday for use and occupancy of the seaside complex along Florida’s central east coast. It will serve as a platform for SpaceX to support their commercial launch activities.
NASA selected SpaceX to lease Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center because it had a firm manifest of launches while rival Blue Origin’s plan to transfer the former space shuttle launch pad into a multi-user facility lacked actual users, according to the space agency’s selection statement.
“Blue Origin’s multi-use approach involved uncertainty regarding the extent other users would use the pad,” wrote NASA selection official Richard J. Keegan, Jr. “In contrast, SpaceX’s approach for exclusive use and its proposed manifest was specific, firm and included customers on contract.
“I determined the certainty and number of launches associated with SpaceX’s proposal outweighed the potential benefits associated with Blue Origin’s multi-use approach. I had a high level of confidence that SpaceX was very likely to successfully achieve its near term manifest,” he added.
Editor’s Note: Blue Origin’s GAO appeal was the only thing holding up the decision. Once a decision was issued on Thursday, NASA was able to move ahead.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., to begin negotiations on a lease to use and operate historic Launch Complex (LC) 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Permitting use and operation of this valuable national asset by a private-sector, commercial space partner will ensure its continued viability and allow for its continued use in support of U.S. space activities.
This is kind of cool. The Government Accountability Office footnoted Parabolic Arc in its decision to deny Blue Origin’s protest concerning the privatization of launch Pad 39A. I think it’s the first time we’ve been cited in a government report. Woo-hoo!
And while we’re on the topic, check out this bit of sarcasm from NASA that GAO quoted about its potential future need for “flux capacitors and warp drives.”
Jeff Bezos of Blue Origin has lost a round in his battle with SpaceX’s Elon Musk over who will control former space shuttle launch Pad 39A in Florida.
In a 12-page decision, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has denied a protest by Blue Origin over the approach NASA is taking to commercialize the former space shuttle launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center.