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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Blue Origin Wary of Sharing Launch Pad with SLS

•, By Irene Klotz
“As a commercial customer, you want some assurances that that pad is going to be available in the future and the way the government’s budgets are structured, if I have a customer who wants to fly to space in three years and I sign them up, I need to know that I have a launch pad to do that,” Rob Meyerson, president of startup Blue Origin, said.

“There are no technical issues” with having multiple users of the pad, Meyerson told SpaceNews. “The issues are more with long-term commitment: Can a commercial customer be certain that access to that pad is going to be there for two, three, four, five years out?”

Rather than risk partnering with NASA on Launch Complex 39B, the pad being developed for the government-owned and -operated Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket, Blue Origin is proposing that the agency let it take over Launch Complex 39A and turn it into a multiuser complex for its own rockets as well as those built and operated by other companies.

One of those other companies, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), submitted an alternative proposal to use pad 39A exclusively for its Falcon 9 and planned Falcon Heavy rockets.

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