Landing Zones 1 and 2

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Landing Zone 1 and 2
ORBCOMM-2 First-Stage Landing (23271687254).jpg
The first-stage booster core B1019 of Falcon 9 flight 20 approaching Landing Zone 1 in December 2015
Launch site Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Coordinates 28°29′09″N 80°32′40″W / 28.48583°N 80.54444°W / 28.48583; -80.54444Coordinates: 28°29′09″N 80°32′40″W / 28.48583°N 80.54444°W / 28.48583; -80.54444
Short name LZ-1, LZ-2
Operator SpaceX
Launch pad(s) 2 landing pads[1]
Landing history
Status Active
Landings 11 (all successful)
First landing 22 December 2015 (Falcon 9 flight 20)
Last landing 6 February 2018 (Falcon Heavy Test Flight)
Falcon 9 Full Thrust, Falcon Heavy

Landing Zone 1 and Landing Zone 2 , also known as LZ-1 and LZ-2, 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] SpaceX built Landing Zone 2 at the facility to have a separate landing pad to support Falcon Heavy booster landings.[4]


The site consists of two main pads 282 feet (86 m) in diameter marked with the stylized X from the SpaceX company logo.[1][5] An additional four 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 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.[5]

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,[6][7] as of March 2, 2015, the Air Force's sign for LC-13 was briefly replaced with a sign identifying it as Landing Complex.[8] The site was renamed Landing Zone prior to its first use as a landing site.[9][10] 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.[11]

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.[12]

In May 2017, construction on a second, smaller pad began, to be called Landing Zone 2, this pad is located 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.[13]

SpaceX has also signed a five-year lease for a West Coast landing pad at Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 4,[14] 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 December 22, 2015 UTC;[15] this was the 8th controlled-descent test of a Falcon 9 first stage.[10][16] 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,[17] 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.[18] 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,[19] as of February 2018, all landing attempts at this complex have been successful.

Date (UTC) Mission Launch vehicle
Booster ID
Flight № Landing Zone Landing Result
December 22, 2015 01:39 OG2-F2 Falcon 9 Full Thrust
20 LZ-1
ORBCOMM-2 (23282658734).jpg
July 18, 2016 04:53 SpaceX CRS-9 Falcon 9 Full Thrust
27 LZ-1
CRS-9 (27776231183).jpg
February 19, 2017 14:47 SpaceX CRS-10 Falcon 9 Full Thrust
30 LZ-1 Falcon 9 first stage lands on LZ-1 (32153432924).jpg Success
May 1, 2017 11:24 NROL-76 Falcon 9 Full Thrust
33 LZ-1 NROL-76 Mission (33578357343).jpg Success
June 3, 2017 21:15 SpaceX CRS-11 Falcon 9 Full Thrust
35 LZ-1 Falcon 9 Booster CRS-11 Landing at LZ-1.jpg Success
August 14, 2017 16:39 SpaceX CRS-12 Falcon 9 Full Thrust
B1039 (Block 4)
39 LZ-1 Success
September 7, 2017 OTV-5 (X-37B) Falcon 9 Full Thrust
B1040 (Block 4)
41 LZ-1 Orbital Test Vehicle 5 Mission (37087809715).jpg Success
December 15, 2017 SpaceX CRS-13 Falcon 9 Full Thrust
45 LZ-1 CRS-13 Mission (39051469552).jpg Success
January 8, 2018 Zuma Falcon 9 Full Thrust
B1043 (Block 4)
47 LZ-1 Zuma Mission (39557026242).jpg Success
February 6, 2018 Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster Falcon Heavy
B1023, B1025
FH #1 LZ-1
FH Booster Landing.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. ^ SpaceX/Dragon CRS-13 Post Launch Briefing
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ James Dean (6 January 2015). "SpaceX to try landing booster on a sea platform". Florida Today. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  7. ^ Graham, William (8 February 2015). "SpaceX Falcon 9 ready for DSCOVR mission". Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "SpaceX - SpaceX's Photos - Facebook". 
  9. ^ 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 “X. 
  10. ^ a b "Rocket landing at Cape Canaveral planned after SpaceX launch". SpaceflightNow. 2015-12-19. Retrieved 2015-12-21. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ Santana, Marco (18 July 2016). "SpaceX seeks approval for two additional landing pads on Space Coast". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ Clark, Stephen (17 February 2015). "SpaceX leases property for landing pads at Cape Canaveral, Vandenberg". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ Dean, James (2015-12-01). "SpaceX wants to land next booster at Cape Canaveral". Florida Today. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  17. ^ SpaceX launches space station docking port for NASA, The Associated Press, July 18, 2016
  18. ^ Clark, Stephen (19 February 2017). "Historic launch pad back in service with thundering blastoff by SpaceX". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 5 March 2017. 
  19. ^ Gebhardt, Chris (6 February 2018). "SpaceX successfully debuts Falcon Heavy in demonstration launch from KSC –". Retrieved 7 February 2018. 

External links[edit]