For Sale: Launchpad

NASA has not officially put them up on Craigslist, but several facilities are on the auction block at Kennedy and other space centers. At the end of this year, funding for the wind down of the space shuttle program ends. Follow-on programs, like Constellation, have not taken over all space shuttle facilities. One of the more famous facilities is LC-39A.

In 2007, LC-39B was deactivated from space shuttle service and began its transformation into a launch platform for Ares and other rockets. LC-39A was kept active for space shuttle then deactivated last year. Its deactivation meant powering down all systems, draining water out of the cooling systems, laying up mechanical systems, closing the doors, and locking the gate.

Other support facilities, like the operations building at the pad, are also shut down and are, presumably, up for grabs.

So, who would buy this facility? I would love to, but to reactivate it and pay the utilities will cost a pretty penny. Rumors are that SpaceX and NASA have been talking about the private space firm buying the pad. SpaceX would use the pad to launch the Falcon Heavy rocket and, possibly, the Falcon 9 which is currently launched from SLC-40, which SpaceX currently leases from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

No matter who buys it, or if nobody buys it, it is a historical place. It sits about 4 miles from the Vehicle Assembly Building and just a few hundred feet from the Atlantic Ocean. It was the launch point for every manned Apollo mission except Apollo 10. Man made his last steps on earth before making his first steps on the moon at LC-39A. It was the site of the first and last shuttle flights. It is inextricably linked to the history of manned space flight.

Just think of the model rockets you could launch from it!

[Image Credits: Universe Today/Nancy Atkinson, engineerd™]

  • texlenin

    Why in the name of all that's eldritch and non-euclidean is this not slated to become a friggin' museum!

    • CaptianNemo2001

      Because its not the Statue of Liberty or that ugly tower the french wanted to scrap in pairs. ( I think it looks alright, but then so did Hitler. It also makes a great radio tower.)

  • texlenin

    But we went to the moon from there?!!?
    Ok, how about making it into a theme park? Waterslides around the base, rollercoaster
    winding all around it? 20 bucks a head?

    • It is on the National Registry of Historic Sites. Therefore, it can never be torn down without an act of Congress (literally).

  • I call dibs on the M113 when it hits Craigslist:
    <img src=""width=500&gt;

    Assuming they are open to interesting trades.

    • pj134

      Hey NASA,

      I'm very interested in your M113. Would you accept a LeMons ready car and a couple of 1911's?


      I have Anthony Quinn's shirt. He took it off to do sit-ups in the park and I nabbed it!