BY TYLER DURDEN
WEDNESDAY, APR 26, 2023 – 01:45 PM
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.
SpaceX Wins Approval to Add Fifth U.S. Rocket Launch Site
The new launch site gives SpaceX more room to handle an increasingly busy launch schedule
Diem ‘Richard’ Nguyen
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