SpaceX is well on its way to making spaceflight look boring now that the company has demonstrated its ability to safely return from orbit and land its first-stage Falcon 9 booster back on earth. The company, led by CEO Elon Musk, currently has launch facilities stationed at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but looking to expand its operations to nearby Port Canaveral.
Port Canaveral’s chief John Murray tells Florida Today that SpaceX has plans to temporarily takeover a vacated building on the north side of the port previously occupied by Spacehab who’s parent company provides commercial space products and services to NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense. According to Murray, SpaceX will occupy the 52,000 square-foot building while it constructs a new building next door that will be used for the purpose of refurbishing rockets. The statement aligns with earlier reports from SpaceX Communication Directory John Taylor “With SpaceX’s recent progress in recovering first-stage Falcon 9 boosters, we’re looking to expand our facilities on the Space Coast to support rocket refurbishment,”
SpaceX has successfully landed six Falcon 9 rockets to date with the latest mission taking Japanese JCSAT-16 communication satellite into geosynchronous orbit. The company recently transported the first ever Falcon 9 rocket that successfully touched down onto solid ground at Cape Canaveral, back in December of last year, to its headquarters in Hawthorne, CA. There it stands today as a proud monument and symbol of what the space company ultimately aims to achieve – reusable rockets.
With the upcoming facility designed for refurbishing rockets, SpaceX will be one step closer to its goal of making commercial spaceflight more affordable through the reuse of rockets.
Murray tells Florida Today, “We’re happy they’re onboard, It’s good for the port, it’s good for the community, and we’re excited about that. They’re a great client to have on our port. It’s a win-win for everybody.”