SpaceX in deal to use Port of Long Beach facility for rocket recovery

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In this long exposure photo, photographers watch a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon space capsule lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Friday, April 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

In this long exposure photo, photographers watch a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon space capsule lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on April 23, 2021. (Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

SpaceX is in a deal to use a marine terminal in the Port of Long Beach for West Coast rocket recovery operations.

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a new sublease agreement with Elon Musk’s space launch company on Monday.

SpaceX will take over a wharf that was vacated in February 2020 by Sea Launch, a company that sailed a self-propelled ocean-going launch platform and a command ship to the equator for satellite launches. Sea Launch kept the vessels at Long Beach between launches.

Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX will take over the 6.5-acre facility on May 1.

SpaceX can land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rockets on sea-going landing pads for reuse and also recovers its Dragon capsules after ocean splashdowns.

The company had used a site in the neighboring Port of Los Angeles for recovery operations. It also twice backed out of plans to build its Starship rocket in the Port of LA.

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