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SpaceX looks to expand at Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX is looking to expand its facilities at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in order to "streamline" its operations at the Florida location, the company said Friday.

The company, headed by Elon Musk, filed plans for a 133,000-square-foot hangar, a launch control center and a rocket garden at the NASA center. The plans were for an environmental review.

"As SpaceX's launch cadence and manifest for missions from Florida continues to grow, we are seeking to expand our capabilities and streamline operations to launch, land and re-fly our Falcon family of rockets," SpaceX spokesman James Gleeson said.

The SpaceX Operations Area would be on 67 acres of agricultural land near NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building and the center's Industrial Area. From there, the company would refurbish its reusable Falcon rockets.

The 32,000-square-foot launch control tower, which would stand 300 feet tall, appears in a rendering as a futuristic white orb atop a column. The tower includes space for a data center, firing room, engineering room, control center, customer control center and meeting spaces.

The hangar would store used rocket boosters for refurbishment, and a rocket garden would display historic space vehicles.

SpaceX plans to launch 63 missions using Falcon 9 or Falcon heavy boosters per year at the site. The company is leaving open the possibility of needing space for future facilities for manifest support or new launch vehicle specifications.

NASA had said it wanted to foster commercial space travel and services at the Kennedy Space Center after it ended the shuttle missions in 2011.

"Commercial use of KSC real property supports NASA's mandate to encourage the fullest commercial use of space and helps ensure that U.S. government space technology and infrastructure is made available for commercial use on a reimbursable, non-interference and equitable basis," the review said.
By Danielle Haynes

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