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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — One of NASA's most historic launch pads is now under new management.

Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida is now under the direction of SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies), the private spaceflight company headed by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. The launch pad, which was the site where Apollo 11 lifted off on the first manned moon landing in July 1969, will now support the company's rockets and spacecraft as they depart for Earth orbit, and possibly destinations beyond.

"Today, this historic site, from which numerous Apollo and space shuttle missions began, and from which I first flew and left the planet on STS-61C on Columbia, is beginning a new mission as a commercial launch site," said Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator and former astronaut, during a press conference held at the pad.

On Monday (April 14), NASA signed a property agreement with SpaceX beginning a 20-year lease to occupy and use the launch pad. Over the course of the next two decades, the Hawthorne, California-based company will operate and maintain the facility at its own expense.

"Pad 39A is a historic pad, as we all know, and I am so excited that NASA selected us to be one of their partners and also to be their partner in developing 39A as we move forward into the future of space launch," Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's president and chief operating officer, said.

"We'll make great use of this pad, I promise," she added.

NASA chose SpaceX to lease Complex 39A in December 2013, after determining it no longer had a use for the 40-year-old pad. Instead, the space agency plans to use Pad 39B, Pad 39A's Apollo-era twin, to support future flights of its Space Launch System rockets and Orion capsules to fly astronauts to the vicinity of the moon and out to Mars.

Since retiring the space shuttle — the fleet's final mission, STS-135 on shuttle Atlantis, lifted off from 39A in 2011 — NASA has sought private companies, such as SpaceX, to provide commercial launch services to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station. Just hours after the lease was signed, SpaceX was set to launch (from another pad) its third NASA-contracted cargo mission to the outpost but the flight was delayed due to a helium leak.

SpaceX intends to start modifying Pad 39A later this year, in preparation for its first launches in 2015.

"We've had architects in our launch site engineering team working for many months on the sidelines," Shotwell said. "We will launch the Falcon Heavy from here from this pad early next year. We'll carry on with additional commercial launches next year, and, if we are granted the pleasure of moving forward in the commercial crew program, we would launch the Dragon capsule with crew here at 39A as well."

SpaceX claims the Falcon Heavy will be the "world's most powerful rocket." With its 27 first stage engines and ability to lift to orbit the equivalent mass of a Boeing 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel, only the Saturn V, last flown from Pad 39A in 1973, delivered more payload to space than will the Falcon Heavy.

SpaceX representatives have said that the company plans to retain and extend upward the 350 foot high (107 meter) fixed service structure that was added to Pad 39A for use by the space shuttle. The pad's rotating service structure, the large gantry that swung around to envelop the orbiter to install cargo in its payload bay, is not needed for Falcon rockets and may be removed.

"We'll have to build the launch head or launch crown over the infrastructure here, we'll leverage a lot of the plumbing that exists, we will have to bring in some of our own, and critically, we'll be bringing in all of our own instrumentation systems," Shotwell described. "We'll be building a hangar ... to roll the vehicle out, go vertical and launch."

NASA's terms for the lease mandated that several of the pad's more iconic parts be preserved for history, including the gaseous oxygen vent arm mounted at the top of the fixed service structure and the emergency egress bunker, or "rubber room," located under the pad's surface.

Last year, NASA lowered and removed Pad 39A's orbiter access arm. Capped by a "white room" through which the astronauts entered the shuttle, the arm was held for future display.

They'll be some modifications to [the launch pad], but the historic elements we are leaving," Shotwell said.

Pad 39A was originally built in the 1960s to support the Apollo program's Saturn V rocket before being modified to launch the space shuttle. The pad has hosted 94 launches since November 1967, including 12 Saturn V rockets and 82 shuttles. In addition to Apollo 11, 39A also served as the departure site for Apollo 8, the first manned mission to orbit the moon in 1968; the launch of Skylab, the United States' first space station; and STS-1, the first flight of the space shuttle.

"Pad 39A has served the spaceflight program well through Apollo and shuttle," Bob Cabana, director of the Kennedy Space Center and a former astronaut, said. "In fact, my last launch in December of 1988 was from this pad aboard Endeavour as we flew on the first space station assembly mission. It's going to continue to play a vital in our nation's future."

"I'd rather be making history than studying history and that is what we are doing today, making history," Cabana said.

SpaceX now has responsibility for three launch pads: two in Florida, Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center and Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and one in southern California, Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The company has also said it is considering establishing a new launch pad in Texas.

link to article:…
When: April 14 @ 3:25pm ET (2:25pm CT, 1:25pm MT, 12:25pm PT)
Where: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Rocket Launch: Falcon 9 | SpaceX 3

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches to deliver cargo to the orbiting International Space Station. This is the third NASA Commercial Resupply Services flight bringing supplies to the 15-year old station, including climbing legs for space station Crewmember Robonaut-2 (R2).

SpaceX webcast:…
NASA-Headquarters webcast:

T-00d18h37m10s: Beyond a problem with the Canadarm onboard the international space station, Dragon is go for launch at this time.

T-00d00h59m00s: Launch scrubbed due to malfunction in the rocket (will update on cause later) next launch opportunity is Friday at around 3:30pm ET.

T-01d17h34m29s: Tuesdays launch a scrubbed due to a hydrogen leak. It has since been fixed. The new T-0 time is at 3:25pm on Friday. At this time weather is predicted as 60% no-go for launch. If launch is aborted Friday the next turnaround is Saturday, which is also looking unfavorable. In the event that both launch days are missed, the rocket will be rolled back into the facility to await a launch date in May and forfeit it's launch opportunities to Antares at Wallops Flight Facility.
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Group Info

We Are A space inspired Group we focus on Scientific expansion, Discovery and of course Space related items of interest. The Space Race is especially loved, we focus on our history as man in space.

The History of Man in Flight is also very Appreciated Aviation and Space are the focuses of interest.

Like :thumbsup: us on :facebook: Facebook !…

Criteria & Rules:


:star:How to Submit:star:



:bulletgreen: Only good quality works (Please think about resolution, scan quality,
ready for printing, etc. No home-made travel photos. Poor quality self-portrait
not accepted.) Especially in the Featured Folder !

:bulletgreen: NO Pornographic Content (we’re trying to keep the gallery clean and open for all members of varying tastes and ages)

:bulletgreen: NO Extreme Violence and/or Horror

:bulletgreen: NO stolen works
of other artists without their explicit and direct permission, stolen art will be removed and you will get a warning, if the problem continues you will be kicked by one of the admins.

:bulletgreen: Public domain works are excepted. As they are historical in nature and do
not require permission of the owner to use or redistribute.
Founded 2 Years ago
Aug 28, 2011


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The Fallacy of the Moon Landing Hoax !…
_______________________… NASA Anthem… Enterprise Music Video… History of the Federation
_______________________… First Orbit documentary… Freedom 7 documentary… Friendship 7 documentary… Apollo 8 documentary… Part 2
_______________________… First Moon Landing documentary… Skylab documentary… Apollo Soyuz documentary… Space Shuttle documentary… Mission to MIR… ISS Documentary… Part 2… Part 3… Part 4… Part 5… Part 6… The Space Shuttle End of an Era
_______________________… The Future of NASA…… SpaceX Launch Vehicle system……


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jennystokes Apr 11, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you for the request.
jonbluestone Mar 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This may not be your thing, but I designed what I wanted to be a 'practical' space freighter design back in the eighties called an ARCOS. I also came up some practical designs under the label LEXINGTON. If you're interested at all, please take a look in my gallery - thank you - and loving the dA page here.
synersignart Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
just found something interesting
GeneralTate Mar 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Interesting Indeed 
jennystokes Feb 23, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you for the requests.
DeviousSqurl Feb 19, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
General Tate would this fit in here anywhere?…
GeneralTate Feb 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Moni3 Feb 17, 2014   Traditional Artist
Thanks for the add! Fascinating gallery.
DeviousSqurl Feb 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Just curious, do you need this group to request your stuff to join?
GeneralTate Feb 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
No you can join, why ? 
DeviousSqurl Feb 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Oh I was just asking lol
GeneralTate Feb 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooh okay 
Thank you for adding my photos to your gallery! :-)
bicyclegasoline Jan 9, 2014   General Artist
Thank you for adding my work to your group :)
genchang2112 Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the request for my Captains' Logs: Declassified trailer to be posted here.  I was honored, and only too happy to oblige. :)
PzlWksMedia Dec 8, 2013  Professional Photographer
Thanks for the inclusion of Supermarine S6.  Into the Space and Aviation art gallery. 
Don't forget to say a few words for Scott Carpenter!
synersignart Oct 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
hope they keep NASA going despite of the Govt shutdown in some areas.
GeneralTate Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
They will 
AtlantisOrca Sep 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for adding my group :iconsupersonic-skies: as a Affiliate :)
GeneralTate Sep 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem :) 
CAPTAIN-GIGGLES Sep 16, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the request! :#1: Looks like you've got a great group here! :D
amipal Sep 5, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the request! :)
amipal Sep 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
And thanks for a few more! I really should post them here myself! :)
Gonitwa-Photography Aug 30, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
thanks for the request :)
nice to see that you like my photos :)
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