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Vandenberg Space Launch Complex 10

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Space Launch Complex 10
Thor DSV-2U launch with DMSP-5D-F5 satellite.jpg
A Thor DSV-2U carrying a DMSP weather satellite launches from SLC-10W in 1980. This was the last orbital launch from the complex.
Launch siteVandenberg AFB
Location34°45'55"N
120°37'20"W
Short nameSLC-10
OperatorUS Air Force
Royal Air Force
Total launches38
Launch pad(s)2
Orbital inclination
range
51° – 145°
SLC-10W launch history
StatusInactive
Launches32
First launch14 August 1959
PGM-17 Thor
Last launch15 July 1980
Thor DSV-2U / DMSP-5D1 F-5
Associated
rockets
PGM-17 Thor
Thor MG-18
Thor-Burner
Thor DSV-2U
SLC-10E launch history
StatusInactive
Launches6
First launch16 June 1959
PGM-17 Thor
Last launch19 March 1962
PGM-17 Thor
Associated
rockets
PGM-17 Thor
Space Launch Complex 10
LocationVandenberg Air Force Base, Lompoc, California
Coordinates34°45′55″N 120°37′20″W / 34.76528°N 120.62222°W / 34.76528; -120.62222
ArchitectUnited States Air Force
NRHP reference No.86003511[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJune 23, 1986
Designated NHLJune 23, 1986[2]

Space Launch Complex 10, or Missile Launch Complex 10,[3] is located on Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California. It was built in 1958 to test ballistic missiles and developed into a space launching facility in 1963.[4] Prior to 1966 Space Launch Complex 10 West was known as Vandenberg AFB Pad 75-2-6.[5] It remains a rare pristine look at the electronics and facilities created in that era that helped the United States grow its space capabilities.

The last launch from this complex was a Thor booster in 1980.[3] It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986.[2][3]

It is undergoing an eight-year restoration, and public visits are possible, if arranged in advance.[6]

History

The launch complex was built in 1958 by the Douglas Aircraft Corporation, and was first designated Complex 75-2. At that time it consisted of three launch pads, which were used to train military operators of PGM-17 Thor ballistic missiles, and to conduct missile launch tests. The first launches were conducted by the British Royal Air Force in June and August 1959.[3] The facilities at SLC-10 were dismantled and transported to Johnston Island in support of Operation Dominic, a nuclear weapons testing project conducted there in 1962.

The launch complex was rebuilt in 1963 to support the development of Burner rockets, with two launch pads, designated SLC-10E and SLC-10W. Tests were conducted at SLC-10W from 1965 to 1980, using the Thor satellite launch vehicles, the first stages of which followed the design of the Thor missile.

Surviving elements

Two launch pads and a prefabricated launch blockhouse are the principal surviving elements of the complex. The blockhouse interior still includes all of the electrical equipment used in later launches. SLC-10W also includes pipes and storage facilities for storing and managing the liquid fuel used in the rockets.[7]

References

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Space Launch Complex 10". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2007-11-14. Retrieved 2007-11-18.
  3. ^ a b c d Captain Mark C. Mondl (January 3, 1986). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Space Launch Complex 10 / Missile Launch Complex 10" (pdf). National Park Service. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) and Accompanying 5 photos, exterior and interior, undated. (601 KB)
  4. ^ DOD NHL details for California
  5. ^ Ed Kyle (3 July 2009). "Thor Burner - Sixth in a Series Reviewing Thor Family History".
  6. ^ NPS History of Aviation
  7. ^ "Space Launch Complex 10". National Park Service. Retrieved 2018-02-13.

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 30 March 2021, at 20:39
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