SpaceX Plans Major Expansion at NASA KSC

Proposed SpaceX launch and landing control center

To accommodate its growing launch operations, SpaceX has proposed a substantial expansion of its operations at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, including a launch and landing control center, a processing and storage facility for its boosters and fairings, and a rocket garden.

“SpaceX estimates there may be up to ten events per year for a Falcon Heavy launch, and up to 63 landings (54 Falcon 9 single core landings and nine Falcon Heavy triple core landings) at the current CCAFS landing site or on the SpaceX drone ship,” according to a draft environmental assessment released by NASA KSC’s Integrated Mission Support Services.

Proposed SpaceX operations area

The proposed operations area would be located on a 27-hectare (67-acre) site on Roberts Road to the northeast of KSC’s Visitor Complex. The property is close to multiple SpaceX operations.

The draft environmental assessment — which examined 14 resource areas that included water resources, health and safety — concluded the impact of the new facility would be moderate.

“The Proposed Action combined with current and future actions would result in moderate cumulative effects to land use, visual resources, water resources, and utilities,” the assessment concluded. “Implementation of the Proposed Action would not likely cause any significant cumulative impacts to the remaining local resource areas evaluated.”

Conceptual SpaceX hangar for Falcon maintenance and storage

The draft environmental assessment also stated the project was in line with NASA’s plans to develop the Roberts Road property.

Commercial use of KSC real property supports NASA’s mandate to encourage the fullest commercial use of space, supports the goals of the National Aeronautics and Space Act, and advances the National Space Policy that federal agencies shall ensure that U.S. Government space technology and infrastructure is made available for commercial use on a reimbursable, noninterference, and equitable basis.

The need for the Proposed Action also aligns with NASA’s Space Act Agreement (SAA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation’s mission, which is to support the U.S. goal of encouraging activities by the private sector to strengthen and expand U.S. space transportation infrastructure.

The assessment also says that SpaceX plans to refurbish Area 59 at the adjoining Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for processing Dragon spacecraft. The facility was previously used for satellite processing.

The draft assessment is open for public comment.