Friday, July 26, 2013

NASA told to go slow on pad lease

Two congressmen are concerned NASA might award use of a Kennedy Space Center launch pad in Florida to a company that wants exclusive use. The two members of the House subcommittee that approves NASA budgets said Launch Complex 39A is a unique, tax-funded asset that should be available to multiple rocket launchers. NASA doesn't need the former shuttle pad, one of two at KSC, and is offering it to companies to operate and maintain by Oct. 1. SpaceX and Blue Origin are known to have submitted proposals. SpaceX, which has already brought cargo to the International Space Station, wants exclusive use of the pad to accommodate a steady pace of launches. Blue Origin won't be ready to launch before 2018, but proposes to operate and modify the pad and make it available to interested users by 2015. (Source: Florida Today, 07/25/13) Gulf Coast note: NASA’s Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, are both involved in NASA and commercial space programs. Blue Origin has done testing at SSC. Previous