Located just north of the Visitor Complex at KSC is SpaceX’s newest facility. The Roberts Road site has been in development for around 2 to 3 years at this point, and construction is continuing to ramp up. Hangar X is the main building of the site that will support Falcon 9 booster refurbishment and house administration offices.
Starship Presence at Roberts Road
Very early in development, shortly after ground clearing and grading were completed, SpaceX set up a few tent structures at the Roberts Road site. It wasn’t long until some Starship ring sections were spotted sitting outside the tents by visitors at Kennedy Space Center on the bus tour to the Apollo/Saturn V Center. Over in Boca Chica, the various Starship have been assembled by creating many of these stainless steel rings and stacking them on top of each other to create the main body of Starship
This image shows the clearing and grading that was done for the Phase 1 development plus the foundation for Hangar X. The north section with the white tents was the first feature of the site. These tents have been there for about a year.
But for Starship development at the Roberts Road facility, that’s all that happened. None of the rings were stacked, and as far as we know, all Starship work at the site seems to have halted. This makes sense, as Starship work at Roberts Road stopped at the same time work was ceased on Starship Mk2 at SpaceX’s Cidco road facility in Cocoa, FL in late 2019. All of the Florida-based development of Starship was stopped to create a renewed focus on development at Boca Chica. Tooling from the Roberts Road site was seen being transported to the Port after some time of dormancy. SpaceX was relocating the equipment to Boca Chica.
For almost a year after this, the Roberts Road site sat unused and featured little to no development.
Phase 1 – Falcon 9 Support
The Roberts Road site is currently under Phase 1 development with future expansions to the west expected. Multiple buildings could eventually populate the site with various functions, none of which are currently known. This is just speculation, but it could be possible to see Starship development resume at this site soon, given SpaceX winning the Artemis HLS Contract.
Development resumed on the site in 2020 with permits filed. They went vertical with Hangar X sometime in late December 2020/January 2021. Work has quickly progressed with the facility and the exterior is mostly finished at this time. It is unknown all that will be inside the facility but we can expect all the required equipment to refurbish Falcon 9 boosters. There are 5 small bays located on the southwest side of Hangar X that look sized for Falcon 9 Boosters with 2 larger bay doors located to the right of those.
We also know that at least one Falcon 9 booster has visited the site. SpaceX is likely practicing transporting boosters to and from the site, along with checking access to the facility using the transporter.
Roberts Road is an ever-evolving site that is far from completion. We will continue to cover future developments seen at the site.