First-ever Rocket Landing Pad Coming to Space Coast

The First-ever rocket landing pad is coming to Florida’s Space Coast! The plans were put into writing and agreed upon by Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, commander, 45th Space Wing and SpaceX. The five-year leasing agreement will allow for the creation of a “Landing Pad” at Launch Complex 13 at historic Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which was once used to launch Atlas rockets and missiles between 1958 and 1978. SpaceX plans to repurpose the old site to successfully support their construction of a vertical-landing facility suitable for the return of reusable first-stage boosters of their Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles that are currently launched from LC 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Aerial map of historic Launch Complex 13 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, outlining plans for the first ever 'Landing Pad' designed for SpaceX's Falcon rocket. (PHOTO/45th Space Wing)
Aerial map of historic Launch Complex 13 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, outlining plans for the first ever ‘Landing Pad’ designed for SpaceX’s Falcon rocket. (PHOTO/45th Space Wing)

“The way we see it, this is a classic combination of a highly successful launch past morphing into an equally promising future,” said Gen. Armagno. “It’s a whole new world, and the 45th Space Wing is committed to defining and building the Spaceport of the future,” she said.

“For decades, we have been refining our procedures for getting successful launches skyward here on the Eastern Range. Now we’re looking at processes on how to bring first-stage rockets back to earth at the first landing pad at the Cape,” she said. “We live in exciting times here on the Space Coast.”

Added to the US National Register of Historic Places in 1984, Launch Complex 13 was the most-used and longest-serving of the original four Atlas pads.

 

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