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SpaceX will add these facilities to the ones they leased at the Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX Starts Construction of the Starship and Super Heavy Launch Facilities

According to Environmental Assessment Documents published in August 2019, SpaceX has started the construction of the Starship and Super Heavy launch facilities. This is an addition to SpaceX’s LC-39A pad at Kennedy Centre which they leased from NASA.

In a surprising twist, the changes to the Pad 39A are minor and could be finished in just a few months. SpaceX already has Starship launch facilities in Florida and Texas where their build sites are located, However, it is very likely that Pad 39A will be able to have orbital launch attempts before the one at Boca Chica is approved.

SpaceX plans to continue using the current hangar at 39A because it is big enough to accommodate Starships and Super Heavy boosters which will be vertically integrated into a single stack before launch. A large mobile crane will be used until SpaceX builds a permanent one.

SpaceX plans to construct the facilities in phases. Phase one will be a sub-orbital Starship flight test and thus will need a Spartan launch mount and water-cooled thrust diverter. SpaceX is preparing to construct the concrete foundation for the Starship mount already with the deluge system up next.

For the attempt at launching the Orbital Starship which will involve the Super Heavy Booster, SpaceX will have to expand the existing launch or build a new one tall enough to stop the Super Heavy from destroying it. The launch vehicle pad at 39A was originally built for the Saturn V rocket, but the Super Heavy booster at full thrust produces twice as much thrust as it.

According to Elon Musk, Starship’s first orbital launch attempt will be in November or December whereas the first launch of a Starship prototype Mk1 will be in October

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