Port Authority approves SpaceX hangar for rocket storage

2-acres of land to be used for booster restoration, storage

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - SpaceX will start construction on a hangar at Port Canaveral soon after the Canaveral Port Authority Wednesday unanimously approved the two acres the company needs.

Elon Musk's commercial space company requested a lease for 2.17 acres to build a more than 67,000 square-foot hangar to store, refurbish and test used rocket boosters and eventually other rocket parts, according to the lease.

With 13 reclaimed boosters to date and the launch cadence picking up, SpaceX is in need of a place near the launch pads at Kennedy Space Center and Canaveral Air Force Station to turn around and relaunch the boosters.

SpaceX lands its Falcon 9 first-stages on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean called "Of Course I Still Love You," back on land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station or on a second droneship in the Pacific ocean for California launches.

"We need to find a space for them; we need to support them," Port Canaveral CEO Cpt. John Murray said during the meeting.

Murray recently said he sees private space flight as a valuable addition to Port Canaveral's operations.

The lease which runs through 2022, is for the land at the corner of State Road 401 and Payne Way, according to lease documents.

SpaceX will continue to use the 53,360 square-foot SpaceHab building at Port Canaveral on Magellan Road. The company signed a lease in 2016 to use the building for five years. 

As for a timeline, Murray said SpaceX "wanted to be done six months ago" and estimates construction on the hangar to begin soon.

SpaceX is targeting Sunday evening for its third launch in nine days. A Falcon 9 will liftoff with a commercial communications satellite from Kennedy Space Center. There are no plans for a booster landing attempt.

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