SpaceX, the private space-faring company that we’ve been following for so long, has just given us an indication of just how long they plan on sticking around. Earlier this week the company signed a new lease to use the Apollo 11 launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The lease will give SpaceX access to Launch Complex 39A, which saw the launch of the first successful manned mission to the moon, for the next 20 years. SpaceX, of course, will be using the location for more commercial ventures.
NASA administrator and former astronaut Charles Bolden said at the time “Today, this historic site, from which numerous Apollo and space shuttle missions began, and from which I first flew and left the planet on STS-61C on Columbia, is beginning a new mission as a commercial launch site.”
SpaceX president and CEO Gwynne Shotwell said “Pad 39A is a historic pad, as we all know, and I am so excited that NASA selected us to be one of their partners and also to be their partner in developing 39A as we move forward into the future of space launch.”
“We will launch the Falcon Heavy from here from this pad early next year. We’ll carry on with additional commercial launches next year, and, if we are granted the pleasure of moving forward in the commercial crew program, we would launch the Dragon capsule with crew here at 39A as well.”
Some parts of the historic launch pad will, according to the terms of the lease, be preserved for their historic value.
Source: The Verge