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Summary:

SpaceX will operate and pay for Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Flight Center for the next 20 years. The pad was originally used for the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

SpaceX Falcon 9
photo: SpaceX

Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Flight Center hosted its first rocket launch in 1967 when Apollo 11 lifted off to put the first human on the moon. Now, it will be reborn as a commercial launch pad after SpaceX signed an agreement with NASA to operate and fund it for the next 20 years.

SpaceX already has close ties with NASA. It delivered two shipments to the International Space Station for the agency last year and has already launched seven rockets from Kennedy, with one more scheduled to take off this month. While the company has focused on delivery to Earth’s orbit, its capsules could go as far as Mars within the lifetime of the 20 year agreement.

Pad 39A sits one mile from 39B, which NASA will continue to operate.

“The parallel pads at Kennedy perfectly exemplify NASA’s parallel path for human spaceflight exploration — U.S. commercial companies providing access to low-Earth orbit and NASA deep space exploration missions at the same time,” NASA administrator Charles Bolden said in a release.

  1. 1967? Apollo 11? Huh. I knew the moon was far away, but I didn’t think it took 2 years to get there.

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    1. Adam Brackney Tuesday, April 15, 2014

      It was a really long 8 days:)

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    2. 1967? Yes. First launch was indeed on November 9, 1967.

      Apollo 11? Yes. First Apollo/Saturn launch was Apollo 4, but 11 eventually followed.

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      1. Thank God there a a few smart people left to catch that…

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  2. Dear Signe Brewster

    Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon,
    Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin
    Start of mission
    Launch date July 16, 1969, 13:32:00 UTC
    Rocket Saturn V SA-506
    Launch site Kennedy LC-39A

    Do your Homework !

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  3. Dennis Stolwijk Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Pad 39A launch history
    Status Facility modifications underway for 2015 Falcon Heavy launch
    Launches 92 (12 Saturn V, 80 Shuttle)
    First launch November 9, 1967
    Saturn V / Apollo 4

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