Military allowed SpaceX build a platform for vertical landings at Cape Canaveral

The company SpaceX Elon Musk got a five-year lease launch pad №13 (Launch Complex 13, LC-13), which is located on the territory of the US Air Force base at Cape Canaveral. This order подписала commander of the 45th Space Squadron Brigadier Armani Nina (Nina Armagno). According to the contract, SpaceX is entitled to equip a site for landing spacecraft such as Falcon, testing vertical landing which now passes on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean.

Launch pad №13 is now under the control of the US Air Force. Between 1956 and 1978 it was used for test launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles Atlas, but by 2000 its use was discontinued. №13 also known for being with her satellite was launched Lunar Orbiter 1 sent the first pictures of Earth from lunar orbit and was used by NASA for mapping the Moon before the mission "Apollo" and "Surveyor". Despite the fact that the site is on the Register of Historic Places, since its preservation for her there was no proper monitoring and due to irreversible damage to metal structures, it was destroyed by controlled explosion in 2005.

The launch of the satellite Atlas "Mariner 4" from launch pad №13 i>

Now №13 представляет(pdf) an area with a diameter of 228 meters of compacted soil and gravel, able to withstand vertical landing spacecraft. Next to it there are 4 smaller auxiliary platform (diameter of about 45 meters) for emergencies. SpaceX is obliged to carry out landscaping area, to build a new road and build needed to run the equipment.

In July last year SpaseX also received permission from the US government to build a spaceport in Texas. Elon Musk is planning to use it as the main platform for the "tourist trips" and missions paid by governments of different countries.



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