NASA selected Space Exploration Technologies Corp., SpaceX, of Hawthorne, Calif., to begin negotiations on a lease to use and operate Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Permitting use of the pad by a commercial space partner will ensure its continued viability and allow for its continued use in support of U.S. space activities. Since the late 1960s, Kennedy's launch pads 39 A and B have served as the starting point for America's human spaceflight endeavors: Apollo, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz and all 135 space shuttle missions. LC-39A is the pad where Apollo 11 launched on the first manned moon landing in 1969, as well as launching the first space shuttle mission in 1981 and the last in 2011. (Source: NASA, 12/13/13) Gulf Coast note: SpaceX will be testing its Raptor engine at Stennis Space Center, Miss., a NASA facility that is also used by commercial companies.