Elon Musk says SpaceX is building a launch pad for Starship orbital flights on Florida's eastern coastline




  • In Science
  • 2021-12-06 13:01:44Z
  • By Business Insider
 
spacex starship sn15 landing success happy elon musk
spacex starship sn15 landing success happy elon musk  
  • SpaceX has started building a launch pad in Florida for Starship rocket flights, Elon Musk said.

  • It will have a better launch tower and ground systems than SpaceX's launch pad at Starbase, per Musk.

  • SpaceX has leased Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center from NASA since 2014.

Elon Musk said on Friday that SpaceX is constructing a launch pad for its Starship spaceship in Florida ahead of the rocket's first orbital flight.

"Construction of Starship orbital launch pad at the Cape has begun," Musk tweeted.

He confirmed later in the Twitter comments that the pad was located at Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on the east coast of Florida.

Musk said in the tweet that the Florida launch pad will have a better launch tower and improved ground systems compared to the facilities at Starbase, SpaceX's planned city in South Texas where the company has tested out its Starship rocket prototypes.

SpaceX first signed an agreement with NASA in 2014 to use Launch Complex 39A for 20 years. Concrete foundations for the launch pad were put down in 2019, but nothing has happened since then, CNBC reported.

NASA told CNBC in a statement that SpaceX is "within the rights of their lease agreement to make launch infrastructure improvements within the boundaries of the pad."

SpaceX only has approval to build the launch pad, and will need further authorization for launches and landings, NASA told CNBC, adding that it's not providing funding for the pad.

SpaceX and NASA didn't immediately respond to a request for comment made by Insider outside of operating hours.

SpaceX is planning to launch its Starship spaceship into orbit for the first time in early 2022, but Musk warned during a video call with members of the National Academy of Sciences that the initial flight might not succeed.

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