NASA to Lease Historic Launch Pad of First Moon Mission to Commercial Operators

May 24, 2013 10:47 IST

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is looking forward to lease out the historic launch pad in Florida that was used for the first moon mission and by the Atlantis Shuttle to commercial operators.   

The Launch complex of 39A at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral has not been in use since the retirement of Atlantis in 2011. NASA expects that at least two privately-owned space exploration companies can bid for the contract.

The Launch Complex 39A is one of the two launch pads that was built during 1960’s as part of the Apollo Moon Programme and has supported more than 90 launches since November 1967. NASA is looking forward to lease the Complex 39A because since 2011, after the end of NASA’s space shuttle programme the facilities have not been in use.

More than 150 facilities at Florida Spaceport has been demolished or transferred to commercial operators. NASA’s commitment towards right-sizing its portfolio is based on reduction of the number of underused facilities or the facilities which are not required for Space Launch System and Orion. The Space Launch System and Orion is the next generation deep space mission of NASA and are designed for carrying the astronauts to destinations past the international space station.

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