NASA said it plans to open its Kennedy Space Center in Florida to commercial use following the end of its space shuttle program later this year.


NASA is seeking interest for space processing and support facilities at the Kennedy Space Center once its shuttle program ends at the Florida-based facility later this year.

The space agency recently released a formal notice of availability, as well as a request for information, seeking interest for space processing and support facilities at the Florida-based facility.

NASA said the facilities are suited for groups operating or supporting government or commercial launches or space user services.

"Kennedy has been working for some time to enable commercial space activities at the centre that are in line with NASA's mission," Kennedy Center Director Bob Cabana said.

"Partnering with the commercial space industry will help NASA meet its goals and help sustain facility assets to support our nation's space objectives."

NASA groups the facilities into four classes: space vehicle processing and launch facilities; off-line processing facilities; payload processing facilities; and miscellaneous facilities.

The facilities include Launch Pads 39A and B, the Vehicle Assembly Building, Orbiter Processing Facilities and the Shuttle Landing Facility.

The agency said it has received commercial interest in the past related to some of the facilities at the centre.

There are three more space shuttle flights planned before the program ends, with the final launch set for June 28.