KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida, the Sunshine State’s aerospace and spaceport development authority, today announced that its Cape Canaveral launch facility at LC-46 will soon be roaring back to life as a multiuser launchpad for customers employing smaller rocket systems.
Space Florida has already started renovating Launch Complex 46 in preparation for several customers lined up to use the historic facility located at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Recently, Space Florida completed installation of a state-of-the-art communication and data system.
Orbital ATK is the first company with plans to fly from the refurbished launchpad. Orbital ATK was recently awarded a $23.6M contract from the U.S. Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space Office to launch the ORS-5 SensorSat spacecraft. Orbital ATK announced that it will use the Minotaur IV rocket launching from LC-46 in Mid-2017 for the job. This will be the first launch from LC-46 since Lockheed Martin’s Athena I blasted off on January 27, 1999, carrying Taiwan’s first satellite, ROCSAT-1.
“Launching from the Cape adds another capability to our program,” said Rich Straka, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Launch Vehicles Division.
NASA is also set to use the refurbished facilities to launch the Orion Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle Ascent Abort 2 test flight (AA‑2) from LC-46 in 2019. At least one other launch provider is considering using LC-46 for it’s family of small rockets.
“Space Florida is very pleased to welcome Minotaur and NASA back to LC-46,” said Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello. “Their return represents a new dawn of activity for this storied launchpad and the rise of the Cape Canaveral Spaceport as true multi-user spaceport for government and commercial users alike.”
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 aerospace and spaceport development authority, 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. www.spaceflorida.gov