Shuttle Moves Out; Others Move In

Once a week, I plan on summarizing a current event article about space.  Since we were talking about the industry still being alive and well, I thought this article fit nicely:  "At Florida Spaceports, Commercial Operators Prepare To Move In," Space News, August 19, 2011.

Ground breaking ceremonies for SpaceX’s new Falcon 9 rocket launch facilities at Space Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral, Florida.
(from left) Thad Altman, Florida State Representative; Jeff Kottkamp, Florida State Lt. Governor; Elon Musk, Founder and CEO, Space Exploration Technologies; Brigadier General Susan Helms, Commander, 45th Space Wing, United States Air Force; Lynda Weatherman, Brevard County Economic Development Commission CEO/President; Steve Koehler, President of Space Florida; Janet Petro, Deputy Director NASA Kennedy Space Center; Patricia Grace Smith, FAA Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation; Steve Cain, NASA Kennedy Space Center COTS project manager. Credit: Jim Campbell, Aero-News Network.
Photo and names taken from SpaceX website.  

Space X is setting up housekeeping at Cape Canaveral, upgrading an old Delta II processing hanger to launch thier Falcon Nines. They've renamed it Hangar X. (Got a theme going.) They'll also tune up a payload processing and integration facility for the Dragon capsule. They have a goal of launching 12 rockets a year by 2015. That's pretty ambitious, not just for the logistics but also finding the business. But how cool would that be?

There's also talk of Boeing taking up residence in some of the facilities to service their own Crew Space Transport capsule. (They need naming lessons from SpaceX.)

So while the Shuttle program has ended, new programs begin. The question is now: How soon, folks? How soon until Cape Canaveral is launching humans again?

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Virginia L. Jennings said...

Hey! Perhaps they should enlist some of us science fiction writers to give these hangers and capsules names that would be more fitting of their desire to inspire the next generation of space explorers!

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