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Elon Musk says SpaceX Starship launch pad under construction in Florida

A second Starbase is now under construction.

That’s the word Friday from SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who took to Twitter to declare “Construction of Starship orbital launch pad at the Cape has begun” (referencing Florida’s Cape Canaveral).

Up until now, most development of the company’s next-generation Starship vehicle has been centered on its Boca Chica, Texas, test facility, which Musk has lobbied to rename to Starbase, Texas.

It hasn’t been a secret that Musk wants Florida to eventually be the launch site for the spacecraft he aims to use to take humans to the moon and Mars. Concrete for the launch pad was actually poured back in 2019, but there hasn’t been much activity on the site since.

The new launch pad will be part of the existing launch complex at Kennedy Space Center that SpaceX currently leases from NASA, which is where many of the company’s Falcon 9 launches originate.

The first orbital flight of a Starship prototype is still set to launch from Texas next year, once SpaceX receives environmental clearance and a launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration.

No word on whether the Florida pad will include a wild new plan for a launch tower capable of literally catching a returning rocket as it comes in for a landing. The Space Coast is never boring…

First published on Dec. 3, 2021 at 12:06 p.m. PT. CNET

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