Kennedy Space Center Master Plan

A New Generation...A Multi-User Spaceport

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Vertical Launch


Land Use Description - Vertical launch includes all facilities and land areas directly related to vertical launch operations, inclusive of launch pads 39A, 39B and 41, and anticipated future vertical launch facilities. It also includes immediately adjacent launch support facilities required to be operational at the time of launch. Quantity Distance (QD) arcs, launch hazard impact limit lines, other safety setbacks, and exposure limits are considered restrictions on the use of land adjacent to the Vertical Launch Area. Land within these restricted areas are not designated part of the Vertical Launch land use.

Future Development - In keeping with previous recommendations from the 1966, ‘72 and ‘77 KSC Master Plan’s, when the market demands an expansion of vertical launch capacity this Plan recommends an additional vertical launch pad, Launch Complex 49 (LC-49), to be sited to the north of existing 39B.  As part of the EIS process, this area was consolidated from two pads (formerly designated as 39-C and 39-D) to one that provides greater separation from LC-39B.  The area was expanded to accommodate a wider variety of launch azimuths, helping protect against potential overflight concerns of LC-39B.  LC-49 could accommodate medium to large class launch vehicles.  In addition, a 2007 Vertical Launch Site Evaluation Study concluded that a vertical launch pad could also be sited to the south of 39A and to the north of pad 41 to accommodate small/medium launch vehicles.  Designated as Launch Complex 48 (LC-48), this area is best suited to accommodate small to medium class launch vehicles due to its closer proximity to LC-39A and LC-41.  Due to the nature of these activities, QD arcs, launch hazard impact limit lines, other safety setback, and exposure limits requirements will be imposed for safe operations.



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