Master Plan - Hero Background Rocket Launch

Future Land Use

The Future Land Use Plan promotes the highest, best and most efficient use of land area resources balanced with protecting environmental resources and directing new development to suitable locations that can accommodate additional capacity.

  • An understanding of existing land use characteristics forms the basis of an overall development strategy to support continuing NASA programs and encourage future non-NASA opportunities.
  • The Future Land Use Plan promotes compatible relationships between adjacent land uses, encouraging infill development and preserving environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Land use classifications build upon existing functions with recommendations for how land and facilities should be used in the future.
  • A center-wide Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) was conducted in conjunction with the Master Plan that assesses the future environmental impacts of KSC at its highest potential development build-out.

Future Land Use

Future Land Use outlines a development framework that will support the growth of the multi-user spaceport model. Building on the land use descriptions outlined in the Existing Land Use section, the Future Land Use Plan outlines where development can occur, how land can be used, and how to expand strategic capabilities to support KSC’s evolution to a multi-user spaceport. Through this approach, KSC is better able to promote smart development by separating potentially hazardous operations from less-hazardous operational areas and non-NASA operations from NASA operations.

Implementing the future land considerations outlined in this Master Plan will promote the right-sizing of NASA operations at KSC and attract non-NASA investment by providing more operational autonomy. The consolidation of NASA operations into a smaller geographic footprint is a major component of the Future Land Use Plan. Applying the Central Campus concept will allow NASA to recapitalize dispersed non-hazardous functions and capabilities into more efficient facilities with a smaller footprint. Likewise, directing future NASA and non-NASA operations into appropriate land uses with well-defined activities will streamline safety and security considerations while promoting the maximum utilization of KSC’s horizontal infrastructure capacities.  The Future Land Use Plan supports the expansion of the quinti-modal transportation access (road, rail, sea, air and space) to provide increased support for all users of the multi-user spaceport.

KSC Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS)

A center-wide PEIS was conducted in parallel with the Master Plan Update to evaluate the potential environmental impacts from proposed operations and activities across a 20-year horizon, soliciting feedback from cooperating federal agencies and the general public.  As a result of comments received during the public scoping process, NASA developed three development alternatives assessed in the PEIS.  Under the first of these, the Proposed Action, KSC would transition to a multi-user spaceport. A number of new land uses are proposed, including two seaports and horizontal and vertical launch and landing facilities. There would be changes in the acreage of existing designated land use categories at KSC.

The second option — Alternative 1 — was crafted as a direct response to concerns expressed in comments received during the PEIS public scoping period, as well as other observations and data acquired from stakeholders and other agencies during the scoping process.  Alternative 1 is similar to the proposed action in many regards, except for the decreased size of horizontal launch and landing capabilities, reduction of three new vertical launch pads to two, and the elimination of two seaport areas. 

In the No Action Alternative, KSC management would continue its emphasis on dedicated NASA Programs and would not transition in the coming years towards a multi-user spaceport controlled by an independent spaceport authority with fully integrated NASA Programs and non-NASA users. Rather, each NASA Program would continue to be operated as an independent entity to a significant degree, to be funded separately, and to manage activities and buildings in support of its own program. There would continue to be a limited non-NASA presence at KSC.

After release of the Draft PEIS and a public and agency comment period, Alternative 1 was designated as the preferred alternative as it allows for the continuing evolution of KSC toward a multiuser spaceport while reducing and mitigating for potential environmental impacts.  The PEIS Record of Decision (ROD) was signed by NASA HQ on March 10, 2017, officially adopting Future Land Use Map Alternative 1 as KSC’s future land use map.

Emphasize existing development boundaries and reinforce buffers between developed and undeveloped land

  • Promote infill development in areas that are already serviced by existing infrastructure rather than building horizontal infrastructure and new construction on undeveloped land.
  • Plan new development to be compact and incorporate sufficient buffers.
  • Construct a support road and railroad spur in the Contractor Road area to fully leverage the high ground.
  • Locate future Research and Development expansion within the Industrial Area to take advantage of existing roads, utilities, and drainage basins.
  • Fully leverage and expand development opportunities to the east and west of the Shuttle Landing Facility to enhance the value of this unique asset.

Promote environmentally sensitive future development

  • Concentrate development on high land elevations to create compact, efficient functional areas that are not vulnerable to inundation by storm surges or future sea level rise.
  • Construct a seawall to raise the developable land area adjacent to the Vertical Assembly Building and create an elevated area for future mission-critical facilities.
  • Integrate new drainage basin areas that capture surface water in the Industrial Area to support future development.

Promote more on-site renewable energy to become more energy independent and reduce greenhouse gases

  • Allocate additional land for renewable energy use within the Industrial Area, south of Research Park (north of the existing renewable energy area), and on land north of NASA Parkway and west of Kennedy Parkway in fallow orange grove areas and other underutilized open spaces.
  • Install charging stations for electric vehicles throughout the Center, powered by photovoltaic fields on renewable energy sites.

Provide for a balanced mix of uses while promoting the highest and best use of developable land.

  • Fully leverage all existing facilities and developable land to capitalize on diversified development opportunities.
  • Reinforce the overall asset planning strategy by monitoring ongoing functional area planning to evaluate how much land NASA should own over the near, medium, and long term.
  • Designate land area for an expanded development program to ensure the compatibility of diverse activities.
  • Consolidate like functions and uses within designated functional areas to promote efficient land use and save on operations and maintenance and energy costs.
  • Group commercial activities into Commercial Districts to reinforce the concept of a launch-related supply chain.
  • Any new hazardous activities will be placed in existing QD arcs.

Sustain uninterrupted existing and provide additional launch capability to support emerging markets

  • Provide additional launch capacity with new vertical launch pads C and D and launch pad 42 north of existing pad 41.
  • Construct a new Vertical Assembly Building and crawler-way connection for future vertical assembly requirements.