The site and its collection of facilities were originally built as the Apollo program's "Moonport" and later modified for the Space Shuttle program. A camera on the upper stage showed the 60 satellites — each with a mass of about a quarter-ton — flying free of the Falcon 9 over the Indian Ocean. Musk explained in subsequent tweets that the Texas and Florida-based teams are competing to see which region is most effective at producing the Starship vehicles. The Florida-based Starship is expected to launch from one of SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral based facilities, as opposed to the company’s launch site in Boca Chica, Texas. On the Boca Chica Texas side, designs for a launch pad will be more straightforward. That extends SpaceX’s lead in operating the largest fleet of satellites in orbit. Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. While the landing zones may still be a possibility, they are not currently the leading candidate. SpaceX appears to be on pace to launch more than 120 satellites in the month of October. There is still a hole under the Falcon rocket, but the fire will be contained by the concrete cover and piped away. Presently, Pad 39A is believed to be the favorite to support the early Starship missions. Then came the shuttle era. The mission will propel 60 more Starlink internet satellites into orbit, increasing the size of the array to roughly 900. [Updated February 19]. Those missions will start soon after Demo-2 wraps up, provided the test flight goes well. Once construction is completed at the Coastal Steel facility, SpaceX will have to transport the vehicle to Cape Canaveral for launch. Two-and-a-half minutes later, the first stage booster shut down its engines and detached to begin descending toward SpaceX’s drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” in the Atlantic Ocean. It technically could, but wouldn’t have enough mass margin for a heat shield, landing propellant or legs, so not reusable. In terms of where SpaceX will launch the Starship prototypes from Florida, it is understood that the company has been looking at their existing facilities to see if one of them could support the SSTO launches. Please refresh the page and try again. In a filing with the FCC dated Oct. 13, SpaceX said it has started beta testing of the Starlink network in multiple U.S. states, and is providing internet connectivity to previously unserved students in rural areas. Typically used to launch NASA's crewed spaceflight missions since the late 1960s, the pad was leased by SpaceX and has modified the pad to support their launch vehicles. NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission will be the first crewed flight to launch from U.S. soil since the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011. NY 10036. There was a problem. Both of Kennedy Space Center’s launch complexes –  Pad 39A and Pad 39B – are very large, as they were built for the Apollo program. SpaceX is repairing that pad and expects to return it … SpaceX cleaned it off and built a whole new RP-1 facility on top of that …. “SpaceX continues investing in its rapid network deployment, including launching as many as 120 satellites a month and installing extensive ground infrastructure across the country,” SpaceX told the FCC. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, It would be far safer if they are going to use 39a as the launch site, to build a side launch as has been pictured. Thus, they have extra space that can potentially be used for additional launch platforms. However, as seen with Space Shuttle Endeavour, it is more than possible to transport a large spacecraft through city streets if the options are limited. © SpaceX doesn’t need the old launch platform or the giant “crawler” transporter that carried NASA vehicles to the pad from their assembly building. “The transporter-erector is like 1.5 million pounds of steel ... just huge,” Koenigsmann said. The access arm and “white room” used by shuttle crews that flew from 39A—one of two shuttle-era pads—were saved as historical artifacts, and are currently displayed outside the gigantic Vehicle Assembly Building where the shuttle parts were assembled. The second stage’s single Merlin engine ignited to continue the mission into orbit, and the Falcon 9’s two-piece nose shroud jettisoned nearly three-and-a-half minutes into the flight. NASASpaceflight.com graphics artist Jay DeShelter has created a render of one potential concept for a Starship launch platform at Pad 39A.

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