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US Space Force Offers Cape Canaveral Launch Pads to ABL, Stoke, Phantom, and Vaya Space

By Rachel Jewett | March 8, 2023

      SpaceX Launches the AST SpaceMobile Blue Walker 3 Satellite on Sept. 11, 2022 from Cape Canaveral. Photo via AST SpaceMobile

      The U.S. Space Force’s Space Launch Delta 45 will offer launch pads at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station to four new commercial companies — ABL Space, Stoke Space, Phantom Space, and Vaya Space under a new strategy released on Tuesday. 

      The move is part of the launch pad allocation strategy to offer excess launch property to commercial companies to to help develop new launch systems. SLD 45 operates the Eastern Range, providing safety and mission assurance for all rocket launches from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. 

      SLD 45 said this was the first round of launch pad allocations focused on small class launch vehicles, and there may be more rounds in the future for medium, heavy, and super heavy launch vehicles. 

      There are currently four active launch complexes on the Eastern Range; Launch Complex 37 for ULA Delta rockets; Launch Complex 40 for SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets; Launch Complex 41 for ULA Atlas rockets; and Launch Complex 39A, which is owned by NASA. 

      ABL Space Systems, which has the RS1 rocket, has been allocated property at Space Launch Complex 15. ABL’s first orbital attempt in January failed. 

      Stoke Space was allocated property at SLC 14. The launcher is based in Washington state and working to develop a fully reusable rocket. 

      And Phantom Space and Vaya Space were allocated space at SLC 13. Phantom Space is developing the Daytona Launch System and executed a successful hot fire test in November. 

      Vaya Space, formerly Rocket Crafters, is a smallsat launcher in development based in Florida, with a Brazilian subsidiary. The company developed a vortex-hybrid engine rocket, Dauntless, and performed a suborbital test last year from California.