Space Florida to Operate KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility

The Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida. (Credit: NASA)
The Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (June 28, 2013) — Today, NASA announced the selection of Space Florida to maintain and operate the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). This historic 15,000 ft. long, 300 ft. wide launch and landing strip hosted 78 Shuttle landings over the past 30 years and provides a unique resource for growing commercial aerospace businesses that may have interest in operating from Florida.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and KSC Director Robert Cabana made the announcement earlier today during a press briefing at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex.

“The SLF provides a unique capability for new and expanding suborbital launch providers, unmanned aerial vehicle operators and other aerospace-related businesses to thrive in a location that maximizes the resources of the Space Center and Eastern Range operations,” said Space Florida President Frank DiBello. “We look forward to working with NASA-KSC leadership in the coming months to finalize the details of this transaction in a way that will provide the greatest benefit to incoming commercial aerospace businesses.”

NASA issued a request for information to industry in 2012 to identify new and innovative ways to use the facility for current and future commercial and government mission activities. Space Florida was selected because its proposal for potential use of the facility is closely aligned with Kennedy’s vision for creating a multiuser spaceport.

The SLF at KSC is the newest addition to Florida’s commercial, horizontal launch and landing-capable spaceports network, joining Cecil Field Spaceport in Jacksonville, which was licensed as a horizontal, suborbital launch site by the FAA in January 2010.

About Space Florida: Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida’s spaceport authority and aerospace development organization, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive – and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed.