Landing Zone 1

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Landing Zone 1
ORBCOMM-2 First-Stage Landing (23271687254).jpg
Falcon 9 Flight 20 landing on Landing Zone 1 in December 2015
Launch site Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Location Template:PCoord
Short name LZ-1
Operator SpaceX
Launch pad(s) 1 landing pad[1], 1 under construction
Landing history
Status Active
Landings 7 (7 successes)
First landing 22 December 2015 (Falcon 9 Flight 20)
Last landing 7 September 2017 (OTV-5)
Falcon 9 Full Thrust

Landing Zone 1 is a landing facility for recovering components of SpaceX's VTVL reusable launch vehicles. The facility was 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.[2][3]


The site consists of a main pad 282 feet (86 m) in diameter marked with the stylized X from the SpaceX company logo.[1][4] An additional four 150 feet (46 m) diameter pads were initially planned to be built to support the simultaneous recovery of additional boosters of the Falcon Heavy, although only two additional pads are planned for the near future. Planned additional infrastructure 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.[4]

Operations at the facility followed 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,[5][6] as of March 2, 2015, the Air Force's sign for LC-13 was briefly replaced with a sign identifying it as Landing Complex 1.[7] The site was renamed Landing Zone 1 prior to its first use as a landing site.[8][9] 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.[10]

In July 2016, SpaceX applied for permission to build two additional landing pads at Landing Zone 1 for landing the boosters of planned Falcon Heavy flights.[11]

In May 2017, construction on a second, smaller pad began, this pad is located to the northwest of the main pad and will be used for a landing Falcon Heavy booster.

By June 2017, the landing pad was modified with a radar reflective paint, to aid landing precision.[12]

SpaceX has also signed a five-year lease for a West Coast landing pad at Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 4,[13] and it is currently under refurbishment.

Landing history[edit]

After approval from the FAA, SpaceX accomplished its first successful landing at the complex with Falcon 9 Flight 20 on 22 December 2015 UTC;[14] this was the 8th controlled-descent test of a Falcon 9 first stage.[9][15] 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,[16] the third successful landing was by the CRS-10 mission's first stage on 19 February, which was the Falcon 9's 30th flight.[17]

Date (UTC) Mission Launch vehicle Flight № Landing Result Landing weather go Notes
December 22, 2015 01:39 OG2-F2 Falcon 9 Full Thrust 20 ORBCOMM-2 (23282658734).jpg Success 95%
July 18, 2016 04:53 SpaceX CRS-9 Falcon 9 Full Thrust 27 CRS-9 (27776231183).jpg Success 90%
February 19, 2017 14:47 SpaceX CRS-10 Falcon 9 Full Thrust 30 Falcon 9 first stage lands on LZ-1 (32153432924).jpg Success 70%
May 1, 2017 11:24 NROL-76 Falcon 9 Full Thrust 33 NROL-76 Mission (33578357343).jpg Success 70%
June 3, 2017 21:15 SpaceX CRS-11 Falcon 9 Full Thrust 35 Falcon 9 Booster CRS-11 Landing at LZ-1.jpg Success 90%
August 14, 2017 16:39 SpaceX CRS-12 Falcon 9 Full Thrust 39 Falcon 9 Booster CRS-12 Landing at LZ-1.jpg Success 80%
September 7, 2017 OTV-5 (X-37B) Falcon 9 block 4 41 Orbital Test Vehicle 5 Mission (37087809715).jpg Success

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Davenport, Christian (21 December 2015). "Elon Musk’s SpaceX returns to flight and pulls off dramatic, historic landing". The Washington Post. 
  2. ^ "45th Space Wing, SpaceX sign first-ever landing pad agreement at the Cape" (Press release). 45th Space Wing Public Affairs. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Gruss, Mike (10 February 2015). "SpaceX Leases Florida Launch Pad for Rocket Landings". Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Draft Environmental Assessment for the Space Exploration Technologies Vertical Landing of the Falcon Vehicle and Construction at Launch Complex 13 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Florida" (PDF). USAF. October 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-01-08. Retrieved 2015-12-23. 
  5. ^ James Dean (6 January 2015). "SpaceX to try landing booster on a sea platform". Florida Today. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Graham, William (8 February 2015). "SpaceX Falcon 9 ready for DSCOVR mission". Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "SpaceX - SpaceX's Photos - Facebook". 
  8. ^ Bergin, Chris (2015-12-18). "SpaceX Falcon 9 Static Fires ahead of OG2 RTF mission". 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 “X1″. 
  9. ^ a b "Rocket landing at Cape Canaveral planned after SpaceX launch". SpaceflightNow. 2015-12-19. Retrieved 2015-12-21. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ Santana, Marco (18 July 2016). "SpaceX seeks approval for two additional landing pads on Space Coast". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Clark, Stephen (17 February 2015). "SpaceX leases property for landing pads at Cape Canaveral, Vandenberg". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  14. ^ Graham, William (2015-12-21). "SpaceX returns to flight with OG2, nails historic core return". 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. 
  15. ^ Dean, James (2015-12-01). "SpaceX wants to land next booster at Cape Canaveral". Florida Today. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  16. ^ SpaceX launches space station docking port for NASA, The Associated Press, July 18, 2016
  17. ^ Clark, Stephen (19 February 2017). "Historic launch pad back in service with thundering blastoff by SpaceX". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 5 March 2017. 

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