Spaceport Upgrades Launch Kennedy Into Record-Setting Future

An aerial view of the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and Launch Control Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Jan. 13, 2021. The High Bay 3 in the VAB is where NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft will be stacked on top of the mobile launcher before it is rolled out atop crawler-transporter 2 to Launch Pad 39B for launch on the agency’s Artemis I mission. (Credits: NASA/Ben Smegelsky)

By Heather L. Scott
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

As quickly as the crewed commercial rocket lifted off the launch pad and into the night sky, a new type of space race had begun.

The November 2020 launch of astronauts from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on the first operational mission by a commercial company was the culmination of a new form of government and industry cooperation – an example of how vibrant and diverse American space activities have become.

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Kennedy’s Newest Launch Complex Ready to Serve Smaller Class of Rockets

Complex 48’s “clean pad” design and basic infrastructure offer flexibility for small-class vehicle customers whose rockets have varying needs. (Credits: NASA/Ben Smegelsky)

By Anna Heiney
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center


Launch Complex 48 expands the scope of the agency’s premier multi-user spaceport by creating a dedicated launch site to accommodate launchers generating 500,000 pounds of thrust or less.

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