Landing Zones 1 and 2
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral Air Force Station|
|Short name||LZ-1, LZ-2|
|Launch pad(s)||2 landing pads|
Landing Zone 1, Landing Zone 2 and Landing Zone 4, also known as LZ-1, LZ-2 and LZ-4, are landing facilities for recovering components of SpaceX's VTVL reusable launch vehicles. LZ-1 and LZ-2 were built on land leased in February 2015 from the United States Air Force, on the site of the former Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 13. SpaceX built Landing Zone 2 at the facility to have a second landing pad, allowing two Falcon Heavy boosters to land simultaneously. SpaceX started construction on Landing Zone 4 in 2016. This landing zone is located next door to SLC-4E, in Vandenburg Airforce Base.
The site is the former Launch Complex 13, which has been demolished and replaced by two circular landing pads 282 feet (86 m) in diameter and marked with a stylized X from the SpaceX company logo. Four more 150 feet (46 m) diameter pads were initially planned to be built to support the simultaneous recovery of additional boosters used by the Falcon Heavy, although only one extra pad has been built. Planned infrastructure additions to support operations includes improved roadways for crane movement, a rocket pedestal area, remote-controlled fire suppression systems in case of a landing failure, and a large concrete foundation, away from the future three landing pads, for attaching the booster stage when taking the rocket from vertical to horizontal orientation.
Operations at the facility began after seven earlier landing tests by SpaceX, five of which involved intentional descents into the open ocean, followed by two failed landing tests on an ocean-going platform. As of March 2, 2015, the Air Force's sign for LC-13 was briefly replaced with a sign identifying it as Landing Complex. The site was renamed Landing Zone prior to its first use as a landing site. Elon Musk indicated in January 2016 that he thought the likelihood of successful landings for all of the attempted landings in 2016 would be approximately 70 percent, hopefully rising to 90 percent in 2017, and cautioned that the company expects a few more failures.
In July 2016, SpaceX applied for permission to build two additional landing pads at Landing Zone 1 for landing the boosters from Falcon Heavy flights.
In May 2017, construction on a second, smaller pad began, called Landing Zone 2. This pad is located about 310 meters to the northwest of the first pad and is used for landing Falcon Heavy side boosters. By June 2017, the landing pad was modified with a radar reflective paint, to aid with landing precision.
Rocket configuration (LZ-1)
- Falcon 9
- Falcon Heavy
Rocket configuration (LZ-2)
- Falcon 9
- Falcon Heavy
After approval from the FAA, SpaceX accomplished its first successful landing at the complex with Falcon 9 flight 20 on December 22, 2015 UTC; this was the 8th controlled-descent test of a Falcon 9 first stage. A second successful landing at LZ-1 took place shortly after midnight, local time (EDT) on July 18, 2016, as part of the CRS-9 mission, which was the Falcon 9's 27th flight. The third successful landing was by the CRS-10 mission's first stage on February 19, 2017, which was the Falcon 9's 30th flight. Landing Zone 2 was first used by the maiden launch of Falcon Heavy on February 6, 2018, when the rocket's two side boosters touched down on LZ-1 and LZ-2. As of August 2018, all landing attempts at this complex have been successful.
Launch and landing traces of Falcon 9 Flight 20, from launch pad SLC-40 to landing pad LZ-1
|Date (UTC)||Mission||Launch vehicle
|Flight №||Landing Zone||Landing||Result|
|December 22, 2015 01:39||OG2-F2||Falcon 9 Full Thrust
|July 18, 2016 04:53||SpaceX CRS-9||Falcon 9 Full Thrust
|February 19, 2017 14:47||SpaceX CRS-10||Falcon 9 Full Thrust
|May 1, 2017 11:24||NROL-76||Falcon 9 Full Thrust
|June 3, 2017 21:15||SpaceX CRS-11||Falcon 9 Full Thrust
|August 14, 2017 16:39||SpaceX CRS-12||Falcon 9 Full Thrust
B1039 (Block 4)
|September 7, 2017||OTV-5 (X-37B)||Falcon 9 Full Thrust
B1040 (Block 4)
|December 15, 2017||SpaceX CRS-13||Falcon 9 Full Thrust
|January 8, 2018||Zuma||Falcon 9 Full Thrust
B1043 (Block 4)
|February 6, 2018||Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster||Falcon Heavy
|December 5, 2018||SpaceX CRS-16||Falcon 9 Block 5
- SpaceX reusable launch system development program
- Autonomous spaceport drone ship, used to recover first stage boosters at sea
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- James Dean (6 January 2015). "SpaceX to try landing booster on a sea platform". Florida Today. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
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- "SpaceX - SpaceX's Photos - Facebook". facebook.com.
Bergin, Chris (2015-12-18). "SpaceX Falcon 9 Static Fires ahead of OG2 RTF mission". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 2015-12-19.
All that is currently known for this mission is SpaceX’s ambition to conduct a historic landing on its new Cape Canaveral landing pad, officially known as LZ-1 (Landing Zone -1), but also tagged “X.
- "Rocket landing at Cape Canaveral planned after SpaceX launch". SpaceflightNow. 2015-12-19. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
- Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (19 January 2016). "My best guess for 2016: ~70% landing success rate (so still a few more RUDs to go), then hopefully improving to ~90% in 2017" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Santana, Marco (18 July 2016). "SpaceX seeks approval for two additional landing pads on Space Coast". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- "LZ-1 to LZ-2 distance estimate". imgur. JerWah. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
- Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (4 June 2017). "@Pandora659 Yeah, pretty much dead center. We painted the target area with radio reflective paint, which helps the radar be more precise" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Clark, Stephen (17 February 2015). "SpaceX leases property for landing pads at Cape Canaveral, Vandenberg". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
Graham, William (2015-12-21). "SpaceX returns to flight with OG2, nails historic core return". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
During Monday’s launch, the first stage made its historic return to LZ-1 and successfully landed in a milestone event for SpaceX.
- Dean, James (2015-12-01). "SpaceX wants to land next booster at Cape Canaveral". Florida Today. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- SpaceX launches space station docking port for NASA, The Associated Press, July 18, 2016
- Clark, Stephen (19 February 2017). "Historic launch pad back in service with thundering blastoff by SpaceX". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- Gebhardt, Chris (6 February 2018). "SpaceX successfully debuts Falcon Heavy in demonstration launch from KSC – NASASpaceFlight.com". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 7 February 2018.