Scoop: Space Florida to construct an Astronaut Training Complex at Kennedy Space Center

space florida's exploration park

New information found shows that Space Florida, Florida’s spaceport authority, will be building a new complex for astronaut training near Blue Origin’s factory.

Details revealed in an Environmental Assessment show Space Florida’s plans to build an Astronaut Training Complex at Kennedy Space Center. This will be located just adjacent to the visitor complex. The facility is expected to be used by commercial astronauts and other customers.

Space Florida is an independent district of the State of Florida with a purpose to support the growth of Florida’s aerospace industry. One of the major areas Space Florida is responsible for is Exploration Park. This is the area just south of the KSC Visitor Complex and hosts Blue Origin and OneWeb production facilities. The land that Exploration Park is built on is owned by NASA but has been leased to Space Florida to develop. The newest addition is to build an Astronaut Training Complex just north of One Web’s facilities. This would be able to support training astronauts for various commercial missions.

Space Florida’s training complex overview

Exploration Park Overview | Image Credit: NASA/Space Florida

The overview above shows the upcoming layout of the training complex, which will sit between OneWeb and NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex. Included in the new area will be:

  • Astronaut Training Facilities
  • Astronaut Accommodations
  • Support Facilities
  • Parking
  • Stormwater Managment Ponds

The total development area is around 66 acres. Solar arrays are also expected, either adjacent to or covering the parking area. In the future, an overflow parking area may be constructed. However, it will not be included in this project.

Astronaut Training Complex Overview | Image Credit: NASA/Space Florida

The main facilities will be secluded from everything else in the area by the forest in the area. In addition, one of the facilities will also provide nice views of launches from the rooftop. Additionally, there may even be a publically accessible cafe and restaurant. This would probably be located in the Reception Facility (see above).

Construction is expected to start in 2021, with the site becoming operational sometime in 2022. We can’t wait to hear more about this facility and how it will benefit companies like SpaceX who are in the midst of training the Inspiration 4 Crew. Use of this facility could be used by Axiom who is working a commercial space station and having their own group of trained astronauts.

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