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NASA announced today it has entered negotiations with SpaceX to allow private use of the historic Kennedy Space Center launch pad, where every NASA launch since 1968, including the first mission to the Moon, took place. NASA plans to open the center up to both government and private sector use. SpaceX has already completed contract work for the government, including delivering supplies to the International Space Station.

  1. SpaceX is already involved in launches at KSC. The difference here is that SpaceX will be allowed to operate their own “complex” or launch pad. There are already private operators of launch pads like United Launch Alliance.

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  2. No, no, and no. What’s going on – to a first approximation – is that SpaceX won out against Blue Origin for an exclusive lease to use launch complex 39A (a former Apollo and shuttle launch site) at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). There are many launch complexes (“pads”) at KSC and at nearby Canaveral Air Force Station.

    And it is totally untrue – fabricated without even five seconds of research – that KSC is “where every NASA launch since 1968….took place”. A simple google search for “NASA launch site” produces the following first result, from a nasa.gov web page on launch sites:

    “Primary launch sites for NASA’s Expendable Launch Vehicles are Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. NASA’s Wallops Island, Va., flight facility, Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands in the North Pacific, and Kodiak Island, Alaska, are additional ELV launch locations.”

    I usually find Signe’s articles informative. But to have one that is so short and so inaccurate on such an important topic is disconcerting. This topic is far more important, I suggest, than all the giga-inches devoted here to topics the latest gossip about flash-in-the-pan startups that will be forgotten a few years (or months) from now.

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