SpaceX's New Cape Canaveral Reveals How Expensive It IsIf you're a fan of SpaceX‚ you're probably wondering about the new NASA KennedySpaceCenter space station. Known as SpaceX Cape Canaveral‚ it will be used to launch cargo and astronauts to space. While this is a huge feat‚ it also reveals how incredibly expensive space exploration really is. If you're wondering why SpaceX has a lower price tag than other commercial space providers‚ you're not alone.
SpaceX will build a new‚ towering gantry at Kennedy Space Centers Complex 39A in order to launch the 394-foot-tall Super Heavy-Starship Rocket. NASA announced Thursday that it would not allow permission for SpaceX to fly until NASA has assessed the potential threats to an adjacent pad which was used by astronauts to reach the station. NASA's 39A firing station is now being leased to SpaceX. The original NASA launch stand was built approximately 1‚000 feet from the new gantry. Reuters last week reported that NASA management is concerned by the potential for a catastrophic failure at or near the Starship Pad. This could severely damage Falcon 9's launch infrastructure and disrupt SpaceX's astronaut flights to Crew Dragon. The SpaceX Super Heavy and Starship spacecraft upper stages were both launched. It is something that we all know‚ Kathy Lueders (NASA's chief of space operations)‚ told Reuters. She was probably referring to an explosion at launch pad 40 in Cape Canaveral Space Force Station that in 2016 destroyed Falcon 9 and its communications satellite payload. This threat is taken to another level by the Super Heavy Starship. The fully-reusable‚ next-generation launcher will weigh in at approximately 11 million pounds. It generates 16 million pounds thrust when it lifts off. This is twice the amount of NASA's Space Launch System lunar rocket. 33 Raptor methane-burning Raptor engine. Six Raptors will power the 160-foot tall Starship upperstage‚ which can carry astronauts or cargo. Under a NASA contract worth $2.9 billion‚ a variant of this upper stage will be developed to act as the first moon lander under the agency's Artemis program. Overnight Wednesday‚ the second of eight large Starship Launch Gantry Segments was brought out to pad 39A. (Credit to William Harwood/CBS News). / Credit to William Harwood/CBS News SpaceX has since repaired and updated launch complex 40 following the 2016 disaster and now operates a third Falcon 9 Pad at Vandenberg Space Force Base‚ California. However‚ neither facility is capable of launching Crew Dragon shuttles. The Starliner capsule of Boeing is yet not certified to be operational and NASA regards complex 39A as critical for ongoing operations at the space station. NASA responded to CBS News' query‚ confirming the Reuters story. NASA stated that SpaceX has not been granted permission to launch Thursday from the 39A complex. NASA stated in a statement that SpaceX and NASA will be conducting a comprehensive review of the pad to make sure safe operation and to assess redundant launch capabilities to NASA cargo and crew missions to the International Space Station. NASA and SpaceX will be reviewing all possible options‚ including developing a crew transport capability at Space Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (Florida).