Built at the Kennedy Space Center pad complex, the new launch and landing facilities for the SpaceX Starship Mk2 prototype rocket are heavy construction. Although work only began three weeks ago, photos show heavy equipment has already cleared a large area next to the 39A ramp.
Foundations for the Launch Mount and Deluge Water System are already being worked, along with a circular paved area which will be the landing pad.
The new pad and landing facility are being built in an area of the Space Center that will not directly interfere with the Falcon and Falcon Heavy launches, something that was important to consider as SpaceX foresees up to 24 launches per year of the Starship.
One of the biggest hurdles for the project is figuring out how to transport the Starship from its manufacturing facility in nearby Cocoa.
“Starship, as large as it is, poses some challenges as an over-sized load. A path had to be determined that would have the least amount of obstacles such as power/utility lines. This requires a new clearing from the industrial area as well as contra traffic travel,” says Julia Bergeron, co-founder of the Space Coast Launch Ambassadors.
“The path between Cidco Road and the FedEx (facility) is currently being cleared. What is unclear yet is if it will be paved or if they will lay down mats for the transporter. Several power lines have been raised or buried and other utilities are making progress.”
To read more about the construction at Kennedy Space Center, check out Nasa Spaceflight.