Blue Origin Shows Interest in Shiloh Launch Site

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With touchdown 1,630 feet from the launch pad, Blue Origin completed a successful test of its Crew Capsule escape system. (Credit: Blue Origin)

With touchdown 1,630 feet from the launch pad, Blue Origin completed a successful test of its Crew Capsule escape system. (Credit: Blue Origin)

Florida Today reports that Blue Origin is also interested in operating out of the launch complex that Florida officials want to build at the north end of the Kennedy Space Center.

Blue Origin, backed by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, says Space Florida’s proposed “Shiloh” site would be a good fit for tests of a reusable booster and eventual launches of cargo and crews to orbit.

“Blue Origin is keenly interested in conducting orbital launch operations at the Shiloh facility,” the company said in response to state request for information from interested launch providers.

Blue Origin was the only company to respond in writing to the state’s request by a deadline last month.

However, Space Florida says it has held discussions with SpaceX and at least one other firm it has not identified.

Space Florida asked NASA to cede title to 150 acres of land that include the former citrus community of Shiloh so the state can develop a private launch complex. NASA has denied the request, but the space agency is working with Florida officials on alternatives arrangements operating on the land.

SpaceX wants to establish a private launch facility to supplement flights it make from the government-owned Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Vandenberg Air Force Base. The Shiloh site would be outside the U.S. Air Force-run Eastern Test Range, where SpaceX’s flights are subject to being bumped for high priority national security launches.

During a pre-flight briefing for the Falcon 9 launch scheduled for Friday morning, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said the company is still looking at multiple sites and has not yet made any decisions on where to locate.

SpaceX is reportedly looking at sites in Texas, Georgia, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. SpaceX has requested that an environmental impact assessment be conducted on the Texas site, which is located south of Brownsville.

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