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Sunday, January 20, 2013

NASA rebuffs Florida's request for property takeover at KSC, Florida Today reports

SpaceX Falcon 9 being erected at launch pad (Credit Wired4Space)
"NASA has rebuffed the state's request to take over property at the north end of Kennedy Space Center for development of a commercial launch complex, a potential setback in Florida’s effort to keep SpaceX from moving some launches to another state", James Dean of Florida Today reports.
 
In recent months, Georgia, Texas, Puerto Rico and Florida have been making overt efforts to seek to locate SpaceX launch operations in their respective commercial sites, along with the numerous of high-technology jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure investment.
 
"Anticipating a significant increase in its flight rate, SpaceX wants a pad that offers easier access, more control over launch schedules and lower operating costs than might be possible inside secure government facilities such as Kennedy Space Center or Cape Canaveral Air Force Station", Dean writes in his report.
 
Gothic Rocket Pad (BM)
There are only four United States spaceports in the nation licensed to conduction orbital launch operations, Alaska, California, Florida and Virginia.  SpaceX is now utilizing launch pad facilities in California and Florida.

Commercial space firm Orbital Sciences Corporation will be launching commercial cargo from Virginia's Wallops Island in the coming spring of 2013 The Virginia-based firm has utilized the Alaska Kodiak site for military launches for polar orbit access in recent years.

The spaceport wannabes of Georgia, Texas, and Puerto Rico are each without space launch infrastructure or restricted flight ranges to immediately facilitate SpaceX or other private orbital launch firms promptly in this decade.

Possible inclinations from Virginia
To meet the launch rate demand of lower cost vehicles entering the global commercial satellite launch market, combined with the US civil and military space needs, the existing FAA-approved orbital launch sites in Alaska, California, Florida and Virginia may have growing demand. The questions for Florida and Virginia may be capacity and real estate. Virginia is pumping about $10-million annually into launch opeartions now.

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