The US Space Force has provided several launch sites at the historic Cape Canaveral Launch Complex in Florida to four additional private launch companies.
The decision is part of the Space Force’s new Launch Pad Allocation Strategy (LPAS) and should be a boon to the four companies selected by Space Launch Delta 45, which oversee all spacecraft launch operations from the U.S. East Coast on behalf of the Space Force. .
This was announced in a statement posted on the Space Launch Delta 45 Twitter channel. (will open in a new tab) Space Launch Delta 45 said in a statement that providing launch capacity to new companies is driving the development of new space launch systems and helping to “provide a strong industrial space launch base” for the United States.
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The four companies that have been allocated launch sites are ABL Space, based in El Segundo, California, which develops launch vehicles and launch system technologies; Stoke Space, based in Kent, Washington, developing reusable rockets; Phantom Space, specializing in space transportation systems; and Vaya Space, based in Florida and known for its STAR-3D Engine platform. (will open in a new tab).
Space Launch Delta 45, which is headquartered near Space Force Base Patrick in Florida, added that LPAS was designed to maximize the number of companies that can be housed at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
In turn, this maximizes the launch capacity of the Eastern Range, operated by Space Launch Delta 45 and which extends 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers) east from the launch pads at Cape Canaveral over the Atlantic Ocean.
There are currently four active launch sites at the Eastern Range: Launch Complex 37 for United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta rockets; Launch Complex 39, owned by NASA and consisting of three launch pads; Launch Complex 40 is reserved for SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets; and Launch Complex 41 for ULA Atlas rockets.
More: Pictured: Historic NASA Launch Pad 39A, from Apollo to Shuttle and SpaceX
(Image credit: SpaceX)
In addition to this, East Ridge is home to three currently inactive launch sites that are reserved for future missions and mission partners. These include Launch Complex 36 for Blue Origin, Launch Complex 17 reserved for Moon Express, and Launch Complex 39B, owned by NASA and being redeveloped for future missions.
Space Launch Completed (SLC) 15 will be used by ABL Space. Stoke Space has been granted the right to use SLC 14, and Phantom Space and Vaya Space will share SLC 13. More resources are expected under the LPAS program.
“This was the first round of launch pad allocations and was focused on small satellite class launch vehicles,” Space Launch Delta 45 concluded in a statement. “Additional allocation rounds for medium, heavy and super heavy launch vehicles may occur in the future after further operational analysis.
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