Space Force Lays Out Priorities as Launches Surge at Kennedy Space Center to 67 This Year
By DefenseNews.com // July 19, 2022
Not only has the number of launches ballooned, but so have the providers
WASHINGTON • DEFENSENEWS.COM — A decade ago, the major launch pads at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Kennedy Space Center in Florida were flying just three or four missions annually. Now, after a record 31 launches in 2021, they are expecting to host 67 this year, or almost one every five days.
“It’s fascinating because when I give the number out, people just don’t believe it — especially old-timers,” says Brig. Gen. Stephen Purdy, the Space Force’s program executive officer for assured access to space and commander of Space Launch Delta 45, which is responsible for the Eastern Range, where Kennedy and Cape Canaveral are located.
Not only has the number of launches ballooned, but so have the providers. Purdy told C4ISRNET in an April 4 interview that while the service would traditionally onboard one new launch vehicle every decade, it expects to bring on seven new rockets this year alone.
By his estimates, if all of those companies hit their targets, the Eastern Range could be supporting an annual launch rate of around 300 missions within several years.
The Space Force’s West Coast launch hub at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California is seeing more modest growth, with Purdy projecting its manifest to increase from about five or six launches annually to as many as 50 in the coming years.
CLICK HERE to see the full story on DefenseNews.com>>>