Musk, Bezos fight to win lease of iconic NASA launchpad


Author: Mark Matthews
Publisher: Orlando Sentinel
Date: August 18, 2013

Two of the nation’s best-known Internet entrepreneurs are waging a behind-the scenes fight to win the rights to one of Kennedy Space Center’s most-iconic facilities: Launch Complex 39A, the pad that launched 82 space-shuttle missions, including the last one two years ago.

Elon Musk, who made his fortune co-founding PayPal, and Jeff Bezos, who started, are both avid fans of space travel. And the rocket companies they founded are each seeking a NASA contract to transport astronauts to the International Space Station.

Each wants to blast off from Launch Complex 39A, which has been idle since shuttle Atlantis lifted off to the station July 8, 2011. With KSC not scheduled to launch another NASA-built rocket until at least 2017, what was once known as “America’s Spaceport” is now a ghost town, and NASA is aggressively trying to lease out its unused facilities. Read more here.