NASA ‘s Platform 39A is key to sending astronauts to the International Space Station via SpaceX Crew Dragon capsules .
SpaceX is facing a new regulatory problem. The North American Space Agency (NASA) wants Elon Musk’s company to ensure that the launch of the Starship rocket will not affect the infrastructure of the base in Florida, a key area for the launch of missions to the International Space Station.
According to Reuters , sources close to NASA indicated that the agency wants SpaceX to take charge of the “hardening” of platform 39A, the only one designated for sending astronauts to the International Space Station through Crew Dragon capsules, developed by the space company of NASA. Elon Musk.
Currently, Starship’s test base is in Texas, but it is still waiting for a regulatory process to measure the environmental impact of these launches. This complex could serve to transfer NASA personnel to the ISS, but this approval could take several months.
Along with these facilities, SpaceX has been accelerating the construction of a complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for the orbital launch of Starship. Until these works are completed, the only platform available is the 39A.
The Risk of Starship at NASA
To power this hulk, SpaceX is turning to a new liquid fuel based on oxygen and methane, a combination of propellants that NASA and regulators are unfamiliar with.
The concern lies in a possible explosion of the Starship wrestling rocket on platform 39A of the NASA complex, an event that will negatively impact the astronaut launch schedule.
“We all recognize that if it had an early failure like we had on one of the first SpaceX flights, it would be pretty devastating for 39A,” said Kathy Lueders, NASA’s chief of space operations.