Starship launch site starts taking shape at Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX stacks tower near launch pad 39A

The first segment of what will be the Starship launch tower is now visible at the bottom of a massive crane next to the Kennedy Space Center’s 39A launch pad. With a spaceship taller and twice as powerful as NASA’s new rocket, SpaceX is building the launch pad that could help achieve Elon Musk’s dream of making life multiplanetary.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – The first segment of what will be the Starship launch tower is now visible at the bottom of a massive crane next to the Kennedy Space Center’s 39A launch pad.

With a spaceship taller and twice as powerful as NASA’s new rocket, SpaceX is building the launch pad that could help achieve Elon Musk’s dream of making life multiplanetary.

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At Starship’s production site in Texas earlier this year, Musk announced Florida will likely become the home base for launches and landings.

This month, Musk said Starship’s first orbital flight could be in July. However, there have been explosions during testing.

With the new pad now being built just a thousand feet from a pad for astronaut missions, Space Florida said there are concerns.

“If it blows up on the pad, you’re right next to where we put our U.S. astronauts into space,” Dale Ketcham said.

Ketcham said a solution may be to move astronaut launches to SpaceX’s pad at Launch Complex 40.

Like with the company’s Falcon 9 rockets, SpaceX said Starship could also launch Starlink satellites in addition to crewed missions to the moon — and later Mars.

“There’s no question, this is the first big step, and we’re happy to help them bring it about,” Ketcham said.

As SpaceX works to stack the launch tower, check back with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com to follow the progress.


About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.