Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) (known as Cape Kennedy Air Force Station from 1963 to 1973) is an installation of the United States Air Force Space Command's 45th Space Wing.[2]

CCAFS is headquartered at the nearby Patrick Air Force Base, and located on Cape Canaveral in Brevard County, Florida, CCAFS. The station is the primary launch head of America's Eastern Range[3] with three launch pads currently active (Space Launch Complexes 37B, 40, and 41). Popularly known as "Cape Kennedy" from 1963 to 1973, and as "Cape Canaveral" from 1949 to 1963 and from 1973 to the present, the facility is south-southeast of NASA's Kennedy Space Center on adjacent Merritt Island, with the two linked by bridges and causeways. The Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Skid Strip provides a 10,000-foot (3,000 m) runway[4] close to the launch complexes for military airlift aircraft delivering heavy and outsized payloads to the Cape.

A number of American space exploration pioneers were launched from CCAFS, including the first U.S. Earth satellite in 1958, first U.S. astronaut (1961), first U.S. astronaut in orbit (1962), first two-man U.S. spacecraft (1965), first U.S. unmanned lunar landing (1966), and first three-man U.S. spacecraft (1968). It was also the launch site for all of the first spacecraft to (separately) fly past each of the planets in the Solar System (1962–1977), the first spacecraft to orbit Mars (1971) and roam its surface (1996), the first American spacecraft to orbit and land on Venus (1978), the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn (2004), and to orbit Mercury (2011), and the first spacecraft to leave the Solar System (1977). Portions of the base have been designated a National Historic Landmark for their association with the early years of the American space program.[5]

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Part of Patrick Air Force Base
Cape Canaveral, Florida, United States
Near Cocoa Beach in United States
Cape canaveral crop
Air Force Space Command
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is located in Florida
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Coordinates28°29′20″N 80°34′40″W / 28.48889°N 80.57778°WCoordinates: 28°29′20″N 80°34′40″W / 28.48889°N 80.57778°W
TypeAir Force Base
Area1,325 acres (5 km2)[1]
Site information
OwnerU.S. Department of Defense
OperatorAir Force Space Command
Controlled by45th Space Wing
Open to
the public
No
Websitehttp://www.patrick.af.mil
Site history
Built1940[2]
In use1948–present
EventsSpace Race

History

The CCAFS area had been used by the United States government to test missiles since 1949, when President Harry S. Truman established the Joint Long Range Proving Ground at Cape Canaveral.[6] The location was among the best in the continental United States for this purpose, as it allowed for launches out over the Atlantic Ocean, and is closer to the equator than most other parts of the United States, allowing rockets to get a boost from the Earth's rotation.

Air Force proving ground

Bumper8 launch-GPN-2000-000613
A Bumper V-2 was the first missile launched at Cape Canaveral, on July 24, 1950.

On June 1, 1948, the United States Navy transferred the former Banana River Naval Air Station to the United States Air Force, with the Air Force renaming the facility the Joint Long Range Proving Ground (JLRPG) Base on June 10, 1949. On October 1, 1949, the Joint Long Range Proving Ground Base was transferred from the Air Materiel Command to the Air Force Division of the Joint Long Range Proving Ground. On May 17, 1950, the base was renamed the Long Range Proving Ground Base, but three months later was renamed Patrick Air Force Base, in honor of Army Maj. Gen. Mason Patrick.[7] In 1951, the Air Force established the Air Force Missile Test Center.

Early American sub-orbital rocket flights were achieved at Cape Canaveral in 1956.[8] These flights occurred shortly after sub-orbital flights launched from White Sands Missile Range, such as the Viking 12 sounding rocket on February 4, 1955.[9] Following the Soviet Union's successful Sputnik 1 (launched on October 4, 1957), the United States attempted its first launch of an artificial satellite from Cape Canaveral on December 6, 1957. However, the rocket carrying Vanguard TV3 exploded on the launch pad.[10]

NASA was founded in 1958, and Air Force crews launched missiles for NASA from the Cape, known then as Cape Canaveral Missile Annex. Redstone, Jupiter, Pershing 1, Pershing 1a, Pershing II, Polaris, Thor, Atlas, Titan and Minuteman missiles were all tested from the site, the Thor becoming the basis for the expendable launch vehicle (ELV) Delta rocket, which launched Telstar 1 in July 1962. The row of Titan (LC-15, 16, 19, 20) and Atlas (LC-11, 12, 13, 14) launch pads along the coast came to be known as Missile Row in the 1960s.

Project Mercury

Alan Shepard in Mercury Control Center
Alan Shepard watches Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 launch in the Mercury Control Center
Mercury-Redstone 4 Launch cropped
Mercury-Redstone
Mercury-Atlas 3 launch - cropped2
Mercury-Atlas

NASA's first manned spaceflight program was prepared for launch from Canaveral by U.S. Air Force crews. Mercury's objectives were to place a manned spacecraft in Earth orbit, investigate human performance and ability to function in space, and safely recover the astronaut and spacecraft. Suborbital flights were launched by derivatives of the Army's Redstone missile from LC-5; two such flights were made by Alan Shepard on May 5, 1961, and Gus Grissom on July 21. Orbital flights were launched by derivatives of the Air Force's larger Atlas D missile from LC-14. The first American in orbit was John Glenn on February 20, 1962. Three more orbital flights followed through May 1963.

Flight control for all Mercury missions was provided at the Mercury Control Center located at Canaveral near LC-14.

Temporary name change

On November 29, 1963, following the death of President John F. Kennedy, his successor Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order 11129 renaming both NASA's Merrit Island Launch Operations Center and "the facilities of Station No. 1 of the Atlantic Missile Range" (a reference to Canaveral AFB) as the "John F. Kennedy Space Center". He had also convinced Gov. C. Farris Bryant (D-Fla.) to change the name of Cape Canaveral to Cape Kennedy. This resulted in some confusion in public perception, which conflated the two. NASA Administrator James E. Webb clarified this by issuing a directive stating the Kennedy Space Center name applied only to Merrit Island, while the Air Force issued a general order renaming the Air Force Station launch site Cape Kennedy Air Force Station.[11] This name was used through the Gemini and early Apollo programs.

However, the geographical name change proved to be unpopular, owing to the historical longevity of Cape Canaveral (one of the oldest place-names in the United States, dating to the early 1500s). In 1973, both the Air Force Base and the geographical Cape names were reverted to Canaveral after the Florida legislature passed a bill changing the name back that was signed into law by Florida governor Reubin Askew.[12][13]

Gemini and early Apollo

Gemini-Titan 11 Launch - GPN-2000-001020
Gemini-Titan II
Atlas-Agena 6 Launch
Atlas-Agena target vehicle

The two-man Gemini spacecraft was launched into orbit by a derivative of the Air Force Titan II missile. Twelve Gemini flights were launched from LC-19, ten of which were manned. The first manned flight, Gemini 3, took place on March 23, 1965. Later Gemini flights were supported by seven unmanned launches of the Agena Target Vehicle on the Atlas-Agena from LC-14, to develop rendezvous and docking, critical for Apollo. Two of the Atlas-Agena vehicles failed to reach orbit on Gemini 6 and Gemini 9, and a mis-rigging of the nosecone on a third caused it to fail to eject in orbit, preventing docking on Gemini 9A. The final flight, Gemini 12, launched on November 11, 1966.

The capabilities of the Mercury Control Center were inadequate for the flight control needs of Gemini and Apollo, so NASA built an improved Mission Control Center in 1963, which it decided to locate at the newly built Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas, rather than at Canaveral or at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.[14]

Apollo 7 Launch - GPN-2000-001171
Apollo-Saturn IB

The Apollo program's goal of landing a man on the Moon required development of the Saturn family of rockets. The large Saturn V rocket necessary to take men to the Moon required a larger launch facility than Cape Canaveral could provide, so NASA built the Kennedy Space Center located west and north of Canaveral on Merrit Island. But the earlier Saturn I and IB could be launched from the Cape's Launch Complexes 34 and 37. The first four Saturn I development launches were made from LC-34 between October 27, 1961, and March 28, 1963. These were followed by the final test launch and five operational launches from LC-37 between January 29, 1964, and July 30, 1965.

The Saturn IB uprated the capability of the Saturn I, so that it could be used for Earth orbital tests of the Apollo spacecraft. Two unmanned test launches of the Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM), AS-201 and AS-202, were made from LC-34, and an unmanned flight (AS-203) to test the behavior of upper stage liquid hydrogen fuel in orbit from LC-37, between February 26 and August 25, 1966. The first manned CSM flight, AS-204 or Apollo 1, was planned to launch from LC-34 on February 21, 1967, but the entire crew of Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee were killed in a cabin fire during a spacecraft test on pad 34 on January 27, 1967. The AS-204 rocket was used to launch the unmanned, Earth orbital first test flight of the Apollo Lunar Module, Apollo 5, from LC-37 on January 22, 1968. After significant safety improvements were made to the Command Module, Apollo 7 was launched from LC-34 to fulfill Apollo 1's mission, using Saturn IB AS-205 on October 11, 1968.

In 1972, NASA deactivated both LC-34 and LC-37. It briefly considered reactivating both for Apollo Applications Program launches after the end of Apollo, but instead modified the Kennedy Space Center launch complex to handle the Saturn IB for the Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz Test Project launches. The LC-34 service structure and umbilical tower were razed, leaving only the concrete launch pedestal as a monument to the Apollo 1 crew. In 2001, LC-37 was recommissioned and converted to service Delta IV launch vehicles.

Subsequent activity

The Air Force chose to expand the capabilities of the Titan launch vehicles for its heavy lift capabilities. The Air Force constructed Launch Complexes 40 and 41 to launch Titan III and Titan IV rockets just south of Kennedy Space Center. A Titan III has about the same payload capacity as the Saturn IB at a considerable cost savings.

Launch Complex 40 and 41 have been used to launch defense reconnaissance, communications and weather satellites and NASA planetary missions. The Air Force also planned to launch two Air Force manned space projects from LC 40 and 41. They were the Dyna-Soar, a manned orbital rocket plane (canceled in 1963) and the USAF Manned Orbital Laboratory (MOL), a manned reconnaissance space station (canceled in 1969).

From 1974–1977 the powerful Titan-Centaur became the new heavy lift vehicle for NASA, launching the Viking and Voyager series of spacecraft from Launch Complex 41. Complex 41 later became the launch site for the most powerful unmanned U.S. rocket, the Titan IV, developed by the Air Force.

With increased use of a leased launch pad by private company SpaceX, the Air Force launch support operations at the Cape are planning for 21 launches in 2014, a fifty percent increase over the 2013 launch rate. SpaceX has reservations for a total of ten of those launches in 2014, with an option for an eleventh.[15]

Unmanned launches at Cape Canaveral

Pioneer I on the Launch Pad - GPN-2002-000204
Pioneer 1 atop its launcher

The first United States satellite launch, Explorer 1, was made by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency on February 1, 1958 (UTC) from Canaveral's LC-26A using a Juno I RS-29 missile. NASA's first launch, Pioneer 1, came on October 11 of the same year from LC-17A using a Thor-Able rocket.

Besides Project Gemini, the Atlas-Agena launch complexes LC-12 and LC-13 were used during the 1960s for the unmanned Ranger and Lunar Orbiter programs and the first five Mariner interplanetary probes. The Atlas-Centaur launch complex LC-36 was used for the 1960s Surveyor unmanned lunar landing program and the last five Mariner probes through 1973.

NASA has also launched communications and weather satellites from Launch Complexes 40 and 41, built at the north end of the Cape in 1964 by the Air Force for its Titan IIIC and Titan IV rockets. From 1974–1977 the powerful Titan IIIE served as the heavy-lift vehicle for NASA, launching the Viking and Voyager series of planetary spacecraft and the Cassini–Huygens Saturn probe from LC-41.

Three Cape Canaveral pads are currently operated by NASA and private industry for civilian launches: SLC-41 for the Atlas V and SLC-37B for the Delta IV, both for United Launch Alliance heavy payloads; and SLC-40 for SpaceX Falcon 9 launches to the International Space Station.

NASA's Launch Services Program (LSP) is responsible for oversight of launch operations and countdown management for all unmanned launches at Cape Canaveral which it does not operate.

Boeing X-37B

The Boeing X-37B, a reusable unmanned spacecraft operated by USAF which is also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), has been successfully launched four times from Cape Canaveral.[16] The first four X-37B missions have been launched with Atlas V rockets. Past launch dates for the X-37B spaceplane include April 22, 2010, March 5, 2011, December 11, 2012, and May 20, 2015. The fourth X-37B mission landed at the Kennedy Space Center on May 7, 2017, after 718 days in orbit. The first three X-37B missions all made successful autonomous landings from space to a 15,000 foot runway located at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California which was originally designed for Space Shuttle return from orbit operations.

Facilities

Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 47Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 47Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 37Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 37Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 34Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 34Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 20Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 20Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 19Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 19Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 16Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 16Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 15Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 15Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 14Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 14Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 13Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 13Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 12Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 12Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 11Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 11Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 36Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 36Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 1Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 1Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 2Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 3Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 4Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 21Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 22Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 46Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 46Cape Canaveral lighthouseCape Canaveral lighthouseCape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 31Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 31Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 32Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 10Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 18Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 18Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 26Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 26Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 5Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 5Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 6Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 30Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 30Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 25Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 25Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 29Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 29Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Skid StripCape Canaveral Air Force Station Skid Strip
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station; click on a launch complex name to read more about it.

Of the launch complexes built since 1950, several have been leased and modified for use by private aerospace companies. Launch Complex SLC-17 was used for the Delta II Heavy variant, through 2011.[17] Launch Complexes SLC-37 and SLC-41 were modified to launch EELV Delta IV and Atlas V launch vehicles, respectively.[18] These launch vehicles replaced all earlier Delta, Atlas, and Titan rockets. Launch Complex SLC-47 is used to launch weather sounding rockets. Launch Complex SLC-46 is reserved for use by Space Florida.[19]

Launch Complex SLC-40 hosted the first launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 in June 2010.[20] Falcon 9 launches continued from this complex through 2015, consisting of unmanned Commercial Resupply Services missions for NASA to the International Space Station as well as commercial satellite flights. SpaceX has also leased Launch Complex 39A from NASA and has completed modifying it to accommodate Falcon Heavy and Commercial Crew manned spaceflights to the ISS with their Crew Dragon spacecraft in 2018 or 2019.[21] SpaceX Landing Zone 1 and 2, used to land first stages of the Falcon 9 and the side boosters of the Falcon Heavy, are located at the site of the former LC-13.

On September 16, 2015, NASA announced that Blue Origin has leased Launch Complex 36 and will modify it as a launch site for their next-generation launch vehicles.[22]

In the case of low-inclination (geostationary) launches the location of the area at 28°27'N put it at a slight disadvantage against other launch facilities situated nearer the equator. The boost eastward from the Earth's rotation is about 406 m/s (908 miles per hour) at Cape Canaveral, but 463 m/s (1,035 miles per hour) at the European Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana.[23]

In the case of high-inclination (polar) launches, the latitude does not matter, but the Cape Canaveral area is not suitable, because inhabited areas underlie these trajectories; Vandenberg Air Force Base, Cape Canaveral's West coast counterpart, or the smaller Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska are used instead.

The Air Force Space and Missile Museum is located at LC-26.[24] Hangar AE, located in the CCAFS Industrial Area, collects telemetry from launches all over the United States. NASA's Launch Services Program has three Launch Vehicle Data Centers (LVDC) within that display telemetry real-time for engineers.

National Register of Historic Places

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station sign 001


Air Force Space Command


Part of Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is located in Florida
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is located in the United States
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
LocationCape Canaveral, Florida, United States
Coordinates28°29′20″N 80°34′40″W / 28.48889°N 80.57778°W
Area1,325 acres (5 km2)[1]
Built1950+[25]
VisitationNot open to the public
NRHP reference #84003872[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPApril 16, 1984
Designated NHLDApril 16, 1984[26]

Infrastructure

Water

The base obtains potable water from the city of Cocoa. A single potable water line from Cocoa runs under the Sykes Creek Bridge at Sea Ray Drive.[27][28]

Gallery

Merritt Island

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (shown in green)

Cape canaveral

Cape Canaveral as seen from orbit by a Space Shuttle in 1991

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Looking north along Missile Row in the 1960s

Titan 3E Centaur launches Voyager 2

Titan III-E launches Voyager 2 probe in 1977 from LC-41.

Delta-4H DSP-23 2

First Delta IV Heavy booster launches from LC-37 in 2007.

Cape Canaveral Mission Control Center

Mission Control Center used for Mercury Program and Gemini III

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ a b c "Patrick Air Force Base – FAQ Topic". Patrick Air Force Base. Archived from the original on November 17, 2007.
  3. ^ CAST 1999, p. 1-12.
  4. ^ "World Aero Data: Cape Cnaveral AFS Skid Strip – XMR". Retrieved August 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "NHL nomination for Cape Canaverl Air Force Station". National Park Service. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  6. ^ "Factsheets : Evolution of the 45th Space Wing". Archived from the original on June 13, 2011.
  7. ^ CAST 1999, p. 1-5.
  8. ^ "Cape Canaveral LC5". Archived from the original on April 14, 2009.
  9. ^ "Viking". Archived from the original on February 21, 2007.
  10. ^ By Milton Bracker, Special to The New York Times. (1957, December 07). Vanguard rocket burns on beach; failure to launch test satellite assailed as blow to U.S. prestige. New York Times (1923-Current File), pp. 1. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/114053516
  11. ^ Benson, Charles D.; Faherty, William B. (August 1977). "Chapter 7: The Launch Directorate Becomes an Operational Center - Kennedy's Last Visit". Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations. History Series. SP-4204. NASA.
  12. ^ "History of Cape Canaveral 1959-Present". Archived from the original on August 29, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  13. ^ "GNIS Detail - Cape Canaveral". geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  14. ^ Dethloff, Henry C. (1993). "Chapter 5: Gemini: On Managing Spaceflight". Suddenly Tomorrow Came... A History of the Johnson Space Center. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. pp. 85–86. ISBN 978-1502753588.
  15. ^ Klotz, Irene (2014-01-15). "SpaceX Drives Sharp Increase in Projected Launches at Cape". SpaceNews. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
  16. ^ "Fact Sheet Display". www.af.mil. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  17. ^ CAST 1999, p. 1-26.
  18. ^ CAST 1999, p. 1-31.
  19. ^ CAST 1999, p. 1-35.
  20. ^ SpaceX Corp (October 23, 2009). "Dragon/ Falcon 9 Update". SpaceX. Retrieved November 10, 2009.
  21. ^ Bergin, Chris (18 February 2015). "Falcon Heavy into production as Pad 39A HIF rises out of the ground". NASASpaceFlight. NASASpaceFLight. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  22. ^ Kenneth Chang (September 16, 2015). "Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos' Rocket Company, to Launch from Florida". The New York Times. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  23. ^ "Up, Up, and Away". The Universe: In the Classroom. Astro Society. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
  24. ^ CAST 1999, pp. 1–29 to 1–30.
  25. ^ "Cape Canaveral Air Force Station". Florida Heritage Tourism Interactive Catalog. Florida's Office of Cultural and Historical Programs. September 23, 2007. Archived from the original on December 14, 2007.
  26. ^ Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Archived January 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine at National Historic Landmarks Program.
  27. ^ "Irma leaves Sykes Creek Bridge in limbo". floridatoday.com.
  28. ^ Harris, Michael Williams, David. "Brevard barrier island at risk of losing water source after Hurricane Irma". orlandosentinel.com.

Sources

External links

Media related to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at Wikimedia Commons

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 11

Launch Complex 11 (LC-11) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, is a launch complex used by Atlas missiles between 1958 and 1964. It is the southernmost of the launch pads known as Missile Row. When it was built, it, along with complexes 12, 13 and 14, featured a more robust design than many contemporary pads, due to the greater power of the Atlas compared to other rockets of the time. It was larger, and featured a concrete launch pedestal that was 6 metres (20 ft) tall and a reinforced blockhouse. The rockets were delivered to the launch pad by a ramp on the southwest side of the launch pedestal.

Thirty-two Atlas B, D, E and F missiles were launched on suborbital test flights from LC-11. The first launch to use the complex was Atlas 3B, the first flight of a complete Atlas, which was launched on 19 July 1958. In addition to the suborbital tests, one orbital launch was conducted from the complex. On 18 November 1958, Atlas 10B launched SCORE, the world's first communications satellite into low Earth orbit.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 14

Launch Complex 14 (LC-14) is a launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. LC-14 was used for various manned and unmanned Atlas launches, including the Friendship 7 flight aboard which John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 15

Launch Complex 15 (LC-15) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida is a deactivated launch complex used by LGM-25 Titan missiles between 1959 and 1964. It was originally built for conducting test flights of the Titan I, which made its maiden flight from LC-15 on 6 February 1959. LC-15 is the southernmost of the four original Titan launch complexes on Missile Row.

The last of ten Titan I launches from LC-15 occurred in September 1960. Following this, it was converted for use by the Titan II, which made the first of 16 flights from the complex in June 1962. The last launch from LC-15 occurred on 9 April 1964.

Following the last launch, LC-15 remained active until its retirement from service. Much of the complex, including the tower, launch stand and erector was demolished in June 1967. The blockhouse, cable tunnel, and parts of the launch table and ramp were abandoned in place, and were all still standing until the demolition of the blockhouse in 2011.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 16

Launch Complex 16 (LC-16) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida is a launch complex built for use by LGM-25 Titan missiles, and later used for NASA operations before being transferred back to the US military and used for tests of MGM-31 Pershing missiles. Six Titan I missiles were launched from the complex between December 1959 and May 1960. These were followed by seven Titan II missiles, starting with the type's maiden flight on March 16, 1962. The last Titan II launch from LC-16 was conducted on May 29, 1963.

Following the end of its involvement with the Titan missile, LC-16 was transferred to NASA, which used it for Gemini crew processing, and static firing tests of the Apollo Service Module's propulsion engine. Following its return to the US Air Force in 1972, it was converted for use by the Pershing missile, which made its first flight from the complex on May 7, 1974. Seventy-nine Pershing 1a and 49 Pershing II missiles were launched from LC-16. The last Pershing launch from the facility was conducted on March 21, 1988. It was deactivated the next day and subsequently decommissioned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

It was announced on January 17, 2019 that Relativity Space had entered a 5-year agreement to use LC-16 for its Terran 1 orbital launch vehicle.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 18

Launch Complex 18 (LC-18) is a launch complex at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida that was active during the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was used by Viking, Vanguard, Thor and Scout rockets. The complex consists of two launch pads, LC-18A, which was originally built by the US Navy for the Vanguard rocket, and LC-18B, which was originally by the US Air Force used for tests of the PGM-17 Thor missile.

The first launch from LC-18 was a Viking rocket from LC-18A on 8 December 1956, on a test flight for Project Vanguard. A further Viking launch was conducted in May 1957, and the Vanguard made its maiden flight from the complex in September. Following this, the United States first satellite launch attempt was made from LC-18A, using Vanguard TV3, on 6 December 1957. The launch failed after the rocket lost thrust and exploded on the launch pad. All twelve Vanguard launches were conducted from LC-18A, with the complex being transferred to NASA after it took over responsibility for Vanguard following its formation in 1958. After the Vanguard's retirement in 1959, LC-18A was transferred to the US Air Force for use by Scout rockets.

LC-18B was used for 17 tests of Thor missiles between 4 June 1958 and 29 February 1960. Following this, it was also converted for use by Scout rockets.

Sixteen Scouts were launched from LC-18; ten from LC-18A and six from LC-18B. Fifteen of the launches were suborbital sounding flights, and one was an orbital launch with the Mercury-Scout 1 satellite for NASA. This failed to reach orbit and was destroyed by range safety 43 seconds after launch. The launches from LC-18A used the Blue Scout Junior configuration, and were conducted between 21 September 1960 and 9 June 1965. The launches from LC-18B consisted of three Blue Scout I rockets and three Blue Scout IIs, launched between 7 January 1961 and 12 April 1967

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 19

Launch Complex 19 (LC-19) is a deactivated launch site on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida used by NASA to launch all of the Gemini manned spaceflights. It was also used by unmanned Titan I and Titan II missiles.

LC-19 was in use from 1959 to 1966, during which time it saw 27 launches, 10 of which were manned. The first flight from LC-19 was on August 14, 1959 and ended in a pad explosion, extensively damaging the facility, which took a few months to repair. The first successful launch from LC-19 was also a Titan I, on February 2, 1960. After being converted for the Titan II ICBM program in 1962, LC-19 was later designated for the Gemini flights. After the program concluded in December 1966, LC-19 was closed down.

The Gemini white room from the top of the booster erector has been partially restored and is on display at the Air Force Space and Missile Museum located at Complex 26.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 2

Launch Complex 2 (LC-2) is a deactivated US Air Force launch site on the eastern tip of Cape Canaveral, Florida at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was constructed with launch complexes 1, 3, and 4, in the early 1950s, for the Snark missile program.The first launch from this site was a Snark test conducted on February 18, 1954. The complex was used for Snark missions until 1960, and then was utilized as a helicopter pad during Project Mercury. The final use of the site was during the 1980s for tethered aerostat balloon radar missions.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 20

Space Launch Complex 20 (SLC-20), previously designated Launch Complex 20 (LC-20), is a launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. SLC-20 is located at the northern terminus of ICBM Road, between Space Launch Complex 19 and

Space Launch Complex 34.

This facility was constructed in the late 1950s for the Titan I Missile Program, modified in 1964 for the Titan III Program, and further modified in the late 1980s for the Starbird launch vehicles associated with the shuttle Starlab mission. Several Titan I rockets and four or five Titan III rockets were launched from SLC-20. SLC-20 was deactivated in 1996.In 1999, the site was re-activated to support new launch facilities under the direction of Space Florida for commercial launches. The re-activation included upgrades to Launch Pad A and the construction of a new building along the perimeter road, northeast of the blockhouse.

The site is currently occupied by NASA's Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), a research and development project to provide infrastructure to test, demonstrate and qualify new spaceport technologies. The site is shared with the Florida Air National Guard.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 26

Launch Complex 26 (LC-26) is a deactivated launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. LC-26 consisted of two pads, A and B. Pad A was used for the Jupiter-C and Juno I rockets, and was the launch site for Explorer 1, the United States' first satellite, in 1958. Pad B was used for Juno II. Jupiter IRBMs were launched from both pads.

In its early years, it was used to launch ballistic missiles on test flights, and could have been used for a nuclear strike against the Soviet Union if nuclear war had begun.On February 1, 1958 (January 31 local time), the US Army Ballistic Missile Agency launched Explorer 1 from LC-26A.

LC-26 is also the home of the Air Force Space & Missile Museum. Access to the museum at LC-26 as well as the adjoining LC-5 and LC-6 by the general public can be arranged through the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center "Cape Canaveral: Then and Now Tour". The Cape Canaveral Air Force Station also offers monthly tours.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 3

Launch Complex 3 (LC-3) is a deactivated US Air Force launch site southeast of SLC-36 on Cape Canaveral, Florida at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was constructed, with launch complexes 1, 2, and 4, in the early 1950s for the Snark missile program.It was formerly used to launch Bumper, BOMARC, UGM-27 Polaris, and Lockheed X-17 missiles. The pad was also the site of the first launch from Cape Canaveral, a Bumper rocket on July 24, 1950. The site also served as a medical support facility during Project Mercury.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 31

Launch Complex 31 (LC-31) is a former launch complex at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

It was built in 1959 with LC-32 for the U.S. Air Force to conduct test launches of the first LGM-30 Minuteman missiles. LC-31 was built next to Navaho complex LC-9, requiring LC-10 to be demolished. These complexes were the first to feature dual launch pads, one of which was subterranean. LC-31 consisted of a blockhouse, static launch pad (31A) and missile silo (31B). The bee-hive-shaped blockhouse is 210 yards from the static pad and 330 yards from the silo.

The Air Force launched four Minuteman missiles from 31A; and 35 from the silo, 31B, between February 1, 1960 and September 23, 1969. Pad 31A was used later by the U.S. Army to test launch twelve Pershing 1a missiles.

The service tower has since been removed; the silo remains, and contains recovered debris from the Space Shuttle orbiter vehicle Challenger.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 34

Cape Canaveral (known as Cape Kennedy from 1963 to 1973) Air Force Station Launch Complex 34 (LC-34) is a launch site on Cape Canaveral, Florida. LC-34 and its companion LC-37 to the north were used by NASA from 1961 through 1968 to launch Saturn I and IB rockets as part of the Apollo program. It was the site of the Apollo 1 fire, which claimed the lives of astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee on January 27, 1967.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 5

Launch Complex 5 (LC-5) was a launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida used for various Redstone and Jupiter launches.

It is most well known as the launch site for NASA's 1961 suborbital Mercury-Redstone 3 flight, which made Alan Shepard the first American in space. It was also the launch site of Gus Grissom’s Mercury-Redstone 4 flight. The Mercury-Redstone 1 pad abort, Mercury-Redstone 1A, and Mercury-Redstone 2, with chimpanzee Ham aboard, also used LC-5.

A total of 23 launches were conducted from LC-5: one Jupiter-A, six Jupiter IRBMs, one Jupiter-C, four Juno Is, four Juno IIs and seven Redstones. The first launch from the complex was a Jupiter-A on July 19, 1956 and the final launch was Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 capsule on July 21, 1961.LC-5 is located next to the Air Force Space & Missile Museum. The original consoles used to launch the Mercury-Redstone rockets are on display in the blockhouse. As of 2011 a tour of the blockhouse (and the museum) can be arranged through the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's "Cape Canaveral: Then and Now" tour. One tour is offered daily, so the number of visitors is limited by the size of the tour.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Skid Strip

Cape Canaveral AFS Skid Strip (ICAO: KXMR, FAA LID: XMR) is a military airport at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), 7 nautical miles (11 km) northeast of Cocoa Beach, Florida. It has an asphalt-paved runway designated 13/31 and measuring 10,000 by 200 ft (3,048 by 61 m). The facility is owned by the United States Air Force (USAF).This airport is assigned a three-letter location identifier of XMR by the Federal Aviation Administration, but it does not have an International Air Transport Association (IATA) airport code.The runway was first called the Skid Strip because SM-62 Snark cruise missiles (which lacked wheels) returning from test flights were supposed to skid to a halt on it.In the 1960s the Douglas C-133 Cargomaster was a frequent visitor, carrying modified Atlas and Titan missiles, used as launch vehicles for manned and unmanned space programs leading to the Apollo Moon landings. The Skid Strip was used by NASA's Pregnant Guppy and Super Guppy transport aircraft carrying the S-IVB upper stage for the Saturn IB and Saturn V rockets used in Project Apollo.

Today, it is predominantly used by USAF C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III and C-5 Galaxy aircraft transporting satellite payloads to CCAFS for mating with launch vehicles.

The CCAFS Skid Strip is sometimes confused with the NASA Shuttle Landing Facility, but that runway, specially constructed for the Space Shuttle, is located on Merritt Island at the adjacent John F. Kennedy Space Center.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (SLC-17), previously designated Launch Complex 17 (LC-17), was a launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida used for Thor and Delta rocket launches between 1958 and 2011.

It was built in 1956 for use with the PGM-17 Thor missile, the first operational ballistic missile in the arsenal of the United States. More recently the launch complex has been used for vehicles in the Delta rocket family, derived from the Thor missile, to launch probes to the Moon and planets, solar observatories and weather satellites.

SLC-17 features two expendable launch vehicle (ELV) launch pads, 17A and 17B. The pads were operated by the US Air Force's 45th Space Wing and have supported more than 300 Department of Defense, NASA and commercial missile and rocket launches. Following the last military launch, in August 2009, SLC-17A was withdrawn from use, and SLC-17B was transferred to NASA for two remaining launches.

Pad 17A supported its first Thor missile launch on 3 August 1957, and Pad 17B supported its first Thor launch on 25 January 1957. The site was upgraded in the early 1960s to support a variety of more modern ELVs, which were derived from the basic Thor booster. The modern ELVs based on Thor came to be called the Delta family of rockets.

Thirty-five early Delta rocket missions were launched from Complex 17 between the beginning of 1960 and the end of 1965. At that time the complex was operated by the Air Force. The Air Force transferred Complex 17 to NASA in 1965, but the site was returned to the Air Force in 1988 to support the Delta II program.

As Delta II launches continued over the next decade, Pad 17B was modified in 1997 to support a new, more powerful launch vehicle, the Delta III, which made its maiden flight from the complex on 26 August 1998. The launch ended in failure, as did a second launch the next year. After a third launch on 23 August 2000 placed a mass simulator into a lower than planned orbit, the program was abandoned.

Among the major NASA missions launched from the complex were the Explorer and Pioneer space probes, all of the Orbiting Solar Observatories, the Solar Maximum Mission, Biological Satellites (BIOS), the International Cometary Explorer, the TIROS and GOES meteorology satellites, and the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.

On 10 September 2011, a Delta II 7920H-10C made the final launch from Space Launch Complex 17, carrying NASA's GRAIL spacecraft. All remaining Delta II launches will be made from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

At 7am EDT (1100 GMT) on 12 July 2018, both historic launch towers had been demolished via controlled demolition to make way for Moon Express to build and test its lunar lander.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 37

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 37 (SLC-37), previously Launch Complex 37 (LC-37), is a launch complex on Cape Canaveral, Florida. Construction began in 1959 and the site was accepted by NASA to support the Saturn I program in 1963. The complex consists of two launch pads. LC-37A has never been used, but LC-37B launched unmanned Saturn I flights (1964 to 1965) and was modified and launched Saturn IB flights (1966 to 1968), including the first (unmanned) test of the Apollo Lunar Module in space. It was deactivated in 1972. In 2001 it was modified as the launch site for Delta IV, a launch system operated by United Launch Alliance.

The original layout of the launch complex featured one Mobile Service Structure which could be used to service or mate a rocket on either LC-37A or 37B, but not on both simultaneously. The Delta IV Mobile Service Tower is 330 ft (100 m) tall, and fitted to service all Delta IV configurations, including the Delta IV Heavy.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), previously Launch Complex 40 (LC-40) is a launch pad for rockets located at the north end of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The launch pad was used by the United States Air Force for 55 Titan III and Titan IV launches between 1965 and 2005.After 2007, the US Air Force leased the complex to SpaceX to launch the Falcon 9 rocket.

As of December 2017, there have been 36 launches of the Falcon 9 from the complex. The site was heavily damaged following the September 2016 Amos-6 incident, due to a catastrophic failure during a static fire test. The complex was repaired and returned to operational status in December 2017 for the CRS-13 mission.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41), previously Launch Complex 41 (LC-41), is an active launch site at the north end of Cape Canaveral, Florida at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The site is currently used by United Launch Alliance (ULA) for Atlas V launches. Previously, it had been used by the Air Force, for Titan III and Titan IV launches. In the future, the pad will be used to launch the partly-reusable Vulcan launch vehicle. It is expected to launch for the first time in 2019.

Spaceport Florida Launch Complex 36

Launch Complex 36 (LC-36)—formerly known as Space Launch Complex 36 (SLC-36) from 1997 to 2010—is a launch complex at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Brevard County, Florida. It was used for Atlas launches by NASA and the US Air Force from 1962 until 2005.Blue Origin has leased the launch site since 2015 in order to build a new launch site for launching Blue's orbital rockets. Orbital launches are expected to begin from LC36 no earlier than 2020, and the first launch vehicle slated to launch there is New Glenn, under development by Blue Origin since 2012.Historically, the complex consisted of two launch pads, SLC-36A and SLC-36B, and was the launch site for the Pioneer, Surveyor, and Mariner probes in the 1960s and 1970s. There were a total of 68 and 77 launches from pads 36A and 36B, respectively, while the US government operated the launch complex in the first five decades of spaceflight.The Atlas rockets launched from Complex 36 were subsequently superseded by the Atlas V launch vehicle which launches from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral beginning in 2002.

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