LC-39A (Launch Complex 39A) Overview Updated December 3, 2021

LC-39A (Launch Complex 39A)

A launch pad with a deep and rich history

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Five 'LC-39A' stories

January 2021 - December 2021

Built in 1967, Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) was originally designed to accommodate the large Saturn V rockets that launched astronauts on Apollo missions to the Moon. Other historic launches have utilized LC-39A as well, including missions involving the space shuttle and Skylab. Since the 1960’s the launch pad has mainly been used to launch NASA‘s crewed spaceflight missions.

LC-39A is part of Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, which also includes LC-39B, LC-39C, Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), Crawlerway, Orbiter Processing Facility buildings, and Launch Control Center.

In 2014, SpaceX signed a lease agreement that granted the company a 20-year exclusive leave on LC-39A. A year later, SpaceX began making modifications to the facility to allow it to process and launch its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. In 2019, more substantial changes to the facility began getting worked on to accommodate SpaceX’s Starship rocket.




Starship orbital pad construction at LC-39A has begun

spacex first starship vehicle stacked

Satellite imagery of SpaceX’s Launch Complex 39A revealed more work occurring at the Starship mount. Now, Elon has confirmed that construction on a Cape orbital pad has begun.

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SpaceX launches Inspiration4 to orbit – ushering in new era of human spaceflight

SpaceX launched their first non-NASA crewed mission, Inspiration4, to orbit using their Dragon spacecraft on Wednesday night. The crew members are not professional astronauts, but average citizens. They were not selected based on the strict requirements of previous astronauts, but instead for their ability to represent and inspire the world.

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[Update: Succesful launch and Dragon deployment] SpaceX Inspiration4 to become the first all-civilian mission to orbit

The long-awaited Inspiration4 mission will launch this week from the historic LC-39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The flight, paid for by Shift4 founder and CEO Jared Issacman, will carry Issacman along with 3 other civilians.

Over the months we have come to know Issacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Dr. Sian Proctor, and Chris Sembroski. This week a new era of spaceflight begins as these four take to the sky inside a SpaceX Dragon capsule as the company’s first commercial astronaut mission.

Date: Wednesday, September 15th, 8:02 p.m. EDT

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Preparations underway for the LC-39B Emergency Egress System

In cases where there is an emergency on the pad and the crew needs to get out of there in a hurry. Companies have designed Emergency Egress Systems (EES) to do just that job. SpaceX and ULA each have them, and in the past, NASA has as well. It looks like Artemis, NASA’s mission to the moon, is in the early stages of having her’s built.

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SpaceX breaks Falcon 9 booster re-use record with 8th launch and landing on Starlink mission [Gallery]

SpaceX successfully launched its latest Starlink mission today while setting a new record for reusing a Falcon 9 first stage booster. Starlink is SpaceX’s growing satellite internet service, and SpaceX uses these missions to deploy up to 60 of its own satellites into orbit as test beds for pushing booster re-flight records.

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