Nasa has offered the mobile launch platform used to support the Saturn rockets during the Apollo era to commercial companies

Nasa to rent out historic launch platforms

Three mobile launch platforms used to support the Apollo lunar mission powering Saturn rockets as well as the Space Shuttle have been offered to private entities for utilisation.

As Nasa currently doesn’t have any use for the historic equipment, it foresees the private entrepreneurs could use them either to support their private space flight ventures or find other purposes benefiting the public.

The two-storey 8m-tall structures weighing over 3,700 tonnes are nearly 50m long and more than 40m wide. Nasa’s current initiative to find an alternative purpose for the historic platforms is part of the agency’s on-going work toward turning the Kennedy Space Centre into a multi-purpose, multi-user spaceport for both government and commercial clients.

"At this point, NASA is looking to gauge interest for potential use of the platforms and concepts for potential use," spokeswoman Tracy Young said, adding the interested parties should submit their proposals by 6 September.

At the same time, Nasa is handing over the runway used for Space Shuttle landing to Space Florida, a state-backed economic development agency, who plans to provide services to commercial companies like XCOR, who could launch their Lynx space plane using the facility.

The hottest piece of equipment offered by Nasa, however, is the Launch Complex 39A that has already attracted interest of billionaires and space entrepreneurs Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Musk, who has made fortune through PayPal and has driven to success his SpaceX company, wants to use the complex to support launches of the already operating Falcon 9 rocket, as well as the currently developed Falcon Heavy.

Amazon’s founder Bezos has submitted a proposal to run the complex as a multi-user facility on behalf of his start-up company Blue Origin. Bezos’s proposal has been publicly supported by another company – the United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

Both companies have said they are ready to take over the complex by this October.

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