“Exciting Time”: Space Force Grants Elon Musk’s SpaceX New Launch Site In California
The US Space Force granted Elon Musk’s SpaceX permission to lease a second rocket launch pad at a military base in Southern California, positioning the space company for its fifth launch site in the US.
Under the lease, SpaceX will launch its Falcon 9, a reusable heavy-lift launch vehicle, to propel cargo from Space Launch Complex-6 (SLC-6) at Vandenberg Space Force Base, a military base just north of Los Angeles, into orbit. Musk’s space company has two other launch sites in Florida and a private Starbase complex in south Texas.
“This is an exciting time for Vandenberg Space Force Base.
“This agreement will add to the rich history of SLC-6 and builds on the already strong partnership with SpaceX,” said Col. Robert Long, commander of Space Launch Delta 30.
Vandenberg Space Force Base
Space Force said the Boeing-Lockheed joint venture United Launch Alliance was launching Delta IV heavy rockets from SLC-6 until last year. SpaceX is likely positioning itself to launch weather-monitoring, military, or spy satellites with a southern trajectory over the Pacific Ocean. These types of satellites rely on polar Earth orbits.
“SpaceX’s grant of Space Launch Complex-6 comes as rocket companies prepare to compete for the Pentagon’s Phase 3 National Security Space Launch program, a watershed military launch procurement effort expected to begin in the next year or so,” according to VOA News.
Wed, 04/26/2023 – 13:45