SpaceX has been granted approval to lease a second rocket launch complex at a military base in California by the US Space Force. This sets up the space company for its fifth launch site in the United States.
The lease allows SpaceX to launch its Falcon rockets from Space Launch Complex-6 at Vandenberg Space Force Base, which is a military launch site located north of Los Angeles. The space company already operates another launchpad at this site and has two others in Florida and its private Starbase site in south Texas. However, there is no mention of the lease’s duration.
Increased Launch Schedule
The new launch site, which was vacated last year by the Boeing-Lockheed joint venture United Launch Alliance, gives SpaceX more room to handle an increasingly busy launch schedule for commercial, government, and internal satellite launches.
Competition for Pentagon’s Phase 3 National Security Space Launch Programme
The grant of Space Launch Complex-6 to SpaceX comes as rocket companies prepare to compete for the Pentagon’s Phase 3 National Security Space Launch programme, which is a watershed military launch procurement effort expected to begin in the next year or so.
Last month, media reports claimed that investors from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were planning to invest in a multi-billion-dollar funding round in SpaceX. However, Musk denied this report, stating that it was “not true”. The funding round is expected to value the rocket maker at about $140 billion. SpaceX raised $2 billion in 2022 and $2.6 billion in 2020, according to venture capital firm Space Capital.