Feb 29, 2020

SpaceX planning major increase in Florida launch activity

Posted by in category: transportation

WASHINGTON — SpaceX is proposing a significant increase in launch activity in Florida over the next few years, including missions to polar orbits and those that will require the use of a new vertical payload integration tower.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation published a draft environmental assessment Feb. 27 regarding SpaceX launch activities from both Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center and Space Launch Complex 40 at neighboring Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The assessment, the FAA said, will be used in new or modified commercial launch licenses for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy vehicles from those sites.

One reason for the assessment, the report states, is “SpaceX’s launch manifest includes more annual Falcon launches and Dragon reentries than were considered in previous [environmental] analyses.” SpaceX performed 11 launches from LC-39A and SLC-40 in 2019 and 15 in 2018, the most any one year to date.

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