Florida’s Space Coast could see up to three dozen launches in 2018 thanks to government and commercial payload missions that will fly on SpaceX and United Launch Alliance rockets. Spacex should have about 30 of the launches. Elon Musk announced the Spacex Heavy will launch his red Tesla roadster and target reaching Mars.
If schedules hold, SpaceX will launch a two-person crew in August on a Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft from KSC’s famous launch pad 39A, a feat not seen since space shuttle Atlantis blasted off from there with astronauts in July 2011. Boeing intends on putting a pair of humans into space with its Starliner capsule in November and will get a boost on ULA’s Atlas V rocket from the Cape’s Launch Complex 41.
Though SpaceX more than doubled the previous year’s launch count in 2017, officials expect the company to add even more capacity to its manifest, in part thanks to its two operational Eastern Range pads. The Cape’s Launch Complex 40, which was damaged in a September 2016 explosion, was officially reactivated on Dec. 15 when a Falcon 9 rocket launched on the 13th resupply mission to the ISS.