NASA shops historic launch pad 39A for commercial use

United Launch Alliance, SpaceX could place bids

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Kennedy Space Center will seek proposals from companies interested in taking over one of its former space shuttle launch pads for commercial operations, NASA said on Friday.

The center has mothballed launch pad 39A and will soon stop paying to maintain it.

The agency is seeking a "commercial company or consortium, or other U.S. domestic entity, including state agencies," to lease the pad for at least five years.

Expressions of interest are due by May 24, Local 6 News partner Florida Today reported.

NASA said it would expedite a formal announcement for proposals "to maximize the utility of the facility and avoid the deterioration that results from lack of regular maintenance," and responses will be due within 30 days.

United Launch Alliance and SpaceX have been mentioned as potential users of the pad, along with ATK if its proposed Liberty rocket materializes.

NASA will retain pad 39B at Kennedy for launches of its Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule on exploration missions.

The agency has said pad 39B may also be made available to other users.

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