Elon Musk’s SpaceX is expanding its facilities in Florida to make room for the space company’s forthcoming super heavy-lift launch vehicle dubbed Starship, according to a draft of the plans seen by Reuters on Friday.
Starship, a 384-foot reusable two-stage rocket taller than the Statue of Liberty, is a central piece of Musk’s interplanetary space travel ambitions as well as U.S. space agency NASA’s goal to send humans to the moon again by 2024.
The Starship rocket is expected to launch up to 24 times a year from SpaceX’s current flagship launchpad 39A, the draft of the company’s environmental assessment said. SpaceX did not specify in the report when it would reach that cadence, but Musk said in September 2018 he wanted to be conducting orbital flights with Starship in two to three years.
SpaceX’s launchpad 39A would support NASA’s future moon missions from the same Kennedy Space Centre site used for the Apollo lunar missions a half century ago.