NASA selects SpaceX to takeover idled shuttle launch pad

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Dec 13, 2013 09:06 PM EST

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will lease one of its spare space shuttle launch pads to private company Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), officials said on Friday. SpaceX intends to build a second Falcon rockets site in Florida, according to Reuters.

NASA's decision to turn over Launch Pad 39A at Florida's Kennedy Space Center to SpaceX came after receiving a challenge from rival Blue Origin, a startup rocket firm of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the report detailed.

On Thursday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) dismissed the protest of Blue Origin over the bidding process of NASA. Bezos' company had proposed a multi-user concept for the idled launch pad. However, GAO said NASA had the free rein to choose either exclusive or multi-use operational concepts for the launch pad in question, the report explained.

The terms of the lease transaction with SpaceX were not yet disclosed, the report added.

SpaceX is already using another leased launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force to fly its Falcon rockets. The firm also has a launch pat at California's Vadenberg Air Force Base. In addition, the company is mulling the development of a commercial site in Texas, Reuters reported.

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