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  Launching shuttle: Kennedy vs. Vandenberg

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Author Topic:   Launching shuttle: Kennedy vs. Vandenberg

Posts: 1906
From: MA, USA
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 04-16-2004 08:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Taking the cost, politics and jobs out of the equation. Would it be safer to launch the shuttle from Vandenberg then KSC? Would there be less corrison from the salty Florida air, better weather so that there are less delays? I am not up to date on Vandenberg but is there a runway long enough to support landings?

Above The Clouds
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posted 04-16-2004 04:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Above The Clouds   Click Here to Email Above The Clouds     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I may be wrong but I think that Vandenberg is only suitable to launch the shuttle into a polar orbit. I think if you launched out over the pacific in to a non polar orbit you would suffer reduced performance due to going against the Earth's rotation.


Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 04-16-2004 09:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Vandenberg is there to launch polar satellites. To launch into a low inclination orbit you would either have to launch over the continental US, dropping boosters along the way, or go west against the earth's rotation and lose A LOT of performance.

There is a landing strip there and was once a launch complex that was nearly complete to support shuttle before 51L. In fact the plan was for OV-103, Discovery, to become the "Blue Orbiter" and be used solely for polar Air Force launches from Vandenberg. Those plans dried up after 51L when the Air Force migrated away from shuttle.

By the way, Vandenberg gets it's share of salt spray too. And the weather is often foggy or low ceiling, so probably not a lot better than KSC and its thunderstorms.

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posted 01-04-2010 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for edmk5000   Click Here to Email edmk5000     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did SLC-6 have its own Launch Control Center (LCC) or was launch control provided out of KSC?

Jay Chladek

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 01-05-2010 10:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Vandenberg has full launch support facilities on site, so launch control activities would have been controlled by them. Special preparation was needed for DoD flights in the form of data encryption. One firing room at KSC was set up for that, but Vandenberg has full facilities since almost all they do is launch DoD payloads.

On orbit, control was done at Houston's Mission Control. The specific control room used was actually the one used for the Apollo lunar flights (normal shuttle flights used the room that supported Apollo Earth orbit flights). When it was re-equipped for shuttle, it was given a faraday cage to help trap any stray signal emmissions, to help prevent any passive electronic eavesdropping. When the last DoD flight flew, the room was converted back to its Apollo era appearance. As such, we can visit it today on the tours.


Posts: 599
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 01-05-2010 11:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was under the impression that the whole MCC wing of the building was inside the Faraday cage. Classified launch or not, you don't want any electromagnetic anomalies messing with the control center. If I remember correctly, I heard this from one of the old engineers during a tour.


Posts: 1494
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 01-05-2010 12:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is that why Gene Kranz didn't do any tweets during Apollo 13?

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