According to a statement from SpaceX published September 20, 2013 on the NASA Watch website, the entrepreneurial space launch company has dropped its demand to have sole use of Pad 39A, one of the two former shuttle launch pads that NASA is biding out for commercial use.
“If awarded this limited duration lease on 39A, SpaceX would be more than happy to support other commercial space pioneers at the pad, and allow NASA to make use of the pad if need be."
The decision may be crucial for SpaceX winning the fight it has gotten itself in with Blue Origin for use of the pad launched numerous shuttle missions and before that Apollo flights to the moon. While SpaceX had demanded sole use for the pad, Blue Origin, the incipient launch company run by Amazon.com owner Jeff Bezos, had offered to run the facility for a number of other commercial vendors.
Also some concern had been expressed that NASA might need use of Pad 39A should a future administration decide to expand the temp of launches of the Space Launch System. Currently the space agency plans to only launch the SLS at most once every few years with a space exploration plan aimed in the near term to an Earth approaching asteroid. However many in Congress and elsewhere desire that NASA refocus to a return to the moon, something that would likely require more SLS launches. SpaceX’s offer to not only share Pad 39A with other commercial launch companies but with NASA when and if needed is a shrewd move and increases the company’s chances for winning the bidding war with Blue Origin.