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  Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 36

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Author Topic:   Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 36
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 06-13-2007 12:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Launch Complex 36, Pads A and B, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, is scheduled to be demolished on Saturday, June 16 at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

Complex 36 was used to launch 145 Atlas rockets, including those that sent Surveyors to the Moon, Mariners to Mars and Pioneers to Jupiter, Saturn and beyond. The last Atlas to lift-off from Complex 36 departed on February 3, 2005 on a mission to deploy an NRO classified payload.

Ben
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posted 06-13-2007 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
45th Space Wing release
Launch Towers at Complex 36 to be Toppled June 16

More than 3,600 tons of steel will crash to the surface at Space Launch Complex 36 on Saturday, June 16 when the old mobile service towers there are toppled as part of the ongoing project to demolish the historic site.

Approximately 550 pounds of dynamite strapped to the base of each tower will be detonated about two minutes apart between 10 and 11 a.m. to knock the 209-foot-tall towers down. "A majority of the steel will be recycled," said project officer Jonathan Vanho of the 45th Civil Engineer Squadron. The steel that can't be recycled will be taken to the landfill at Cape Canaveral AFS.

Complex 36 was built for the Atlas/Centaur development program and it was operated under NASA's sponsorship from the program's inception until the late 1980s. The site was built and occupied as a single launch pad complex in February 1961 and a second pad was built between February 1963 and July 1964. Complex 36 hosted many historic missions over the years including Surveyor, Mariner, Pioneer and Intelsat.

In 1989, NASA transferred Complex 36 to the Air Force and General Dynamics for military and commercial space operations. The site was modified to handle Atlas II/Centaur missions. The first commercial Atlas II/Centaur was launched from Pad 36B Dec. 7, 1991. The first military Atlas II/Centaur was launched from Pad 36A Feb. 11, 1992. The last launch from the complex was an Atlas IIIB carrying a National Reconnaissance Office payload from Pad 36B on Feb. 3, 2005. In all, there were 68 major launches from Pad 36A and 77 from Pad 36B.

"Over nearly five decades, Complex 36 was one of the world's most important and versatile space launch sites. Its credits include a whole catalog of NASA missions to the moon, Venus, Mars and Jupiter -- not to mention vital military and commercial communications satellite missions," said Mark Cleary, 45th Space Wing historian.

SpaceCat
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From: Florida, US
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posted 06-13-2007 09:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceCat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ben, I'm just curious - have you taken any historical photos of this or other LC's prior to their being demolished?

Ben
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posted 06-13-2007 09:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I'm not sure how you define historical. I have photographed several launches off 36 and I also have several photos of the pad I got before launch. There are some here and here.

art540
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posted 06-15-2007 12:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for art540   Click Here to Email art540     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is a real shame this country could not create a museum of LC-36 with a mockup or dummy Atlas-Centaur in the gantry. Safety and maintenance would be key issues if a non profit tried to save the site not to mention EPA issues. I assume there are no future commercial interests since Space-X went north?

Ben
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posted 06-15-2007 02:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I should also point out that, having driven past it and noticed, the Titan 3/4 Vertical Integration Building is in the process of being torn down too. Passing over the causeway yesterday, an entire wall was missing and you could see inside it.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-16-2007 11:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Photos courtesy Ben Cooper, SpaceflightNow.com / LaunchPhotography.com

Pad B at 9:59am EDT

Pad A at 10:11am EDT

art540
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From: Orange, California USA
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posted 06-16-2007 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for art540   Click Here to Email art540     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the images, Ben. I now have photos of LC-36B under construction and now being broought down. The historical skyline is surely disappearing... almost like bombed out cities in WW II.

1202 Alarm
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
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posted 06-16-2007 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 1202 Alarm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't think it's very clever to compare destroyed cities during WWII and this LC-36B. Thousands died, not only in Germany, but also in France, England and many allied countries, during these raids. I don't think a lot of people died in the Cape today.

art540
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posted 06-16-2007 05:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for art540   Click Here to Email art540     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My apologies for any offense taken... I was trying to compare an aerial view of the Cape skyline circa 1965 to today's appearance (Japan also suffered much like Europe).

hlbjr
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Posts: 321
From: Delray Beach Florida USA
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 06-16-2007 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I watched the video of the 2 MST's coming down on Spaceflight Now. I was surprised people were clapping after they came down. I think it's a sad day to lose that heritage.

Ben
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From: Daytona Beach, FL
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posted 06-16-2007 08:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There were several Atlas guys there who worked on those pads, so I think the clapping was a tribute to their legacy.

Thanks for the comments, by the way.

Rob Joyner
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posted 06-16-2007 11:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe I missed it in other earlier posts but just WHY was the complex destroyed? Surely just not to be "recycled", which would be insane.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-17-2007 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to Florida Today:
The towers were taken down to prevent corrosion from becoming a safety concern, said Kevin Hooper, project manager with the 45th Space Wing's civil engineering.

"We have to take the structures down before nature takes them down," he said.

Joe Holloway
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posted 06-17-2007 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joe Holloway   Click Here to Email Joe Holloway     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just heard mention of LC-36 razing on the car radio on return from an overnight trip.

Glad I got to see the pads on my last two trips down Florida-way.

There will be nothing left of the old Cape pretty soon, which is a sad commentary, indeed.

Ben
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From: Daytona Beach, FL
Registered: May 2000

posted 06-17-2007 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rob Joyner:
Maybe I missed it in other earlier posts but just WHY was the complex destroyed? Surely just not to be "recycled", which would be insane.
They are also going to refurbish the pad to put it 'on the market' for future buyers.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-07-2008 08:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Florida release
U.S. Air Force to license Launch Complex 36 to Space Florida

State to provide multi-use vertical launch complex for commercial users at Cape Canaveral

A landmark announcement by the U.S. Air Force and the state of Florida today will fundamentally expand the state's position and prominence in aerospace and the space industry in all three key sectors: civil, military and commercial, broadening participation in space-related activities.

Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, subject to completion of the environmental impact analysis process, will be re-built as a multi-use vertical launch complex capable of supporting several launch vehicle configurations ranging from light to medium-lift into low-Earth orbit and beyond.

"Florida has a great legacy in aerospace, a great foundation to build on, and that is one more reason we are so committed to expanding our capability to launch from Florida and from the United States," Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp said. "We have worked closely with the Air Force over the past several months and look forward to a strong, long-term relationship as we build these safe commercial launch processes together."

"The Air Force assignment of Launch Complex 36, is an important next step to extending access to space, making it available to defense and security initiatives and multiple commercial payload and launch activities for both civil and private space businesses that wish to launch from Florida," said Steve Kohler, president of Space Florida.

"The Florida legislature demonstrated tremendous foresight when it appropriated initial funding of $14.5 million for FY 2009. This funding will help Space Florida begin the launch complex infrastructure design and construction necessary to develop a true commercial multi-use launch complex. This direction by the Air Force, together with the tremendous support by the state, opens the door to attracting, supporting and sustaining national and international aerospace business here in Florida," Kohler said.

"One of Space Florida's next objectives is to establish a Commercial Launch Zone (CLZ) for commercial customers wishing to operate from the Eastern Range. The creation of a CLZ expands our ability to support commercial payload launch services, re-supply missions to the International Space Station, and aggressively diversify aerospace business development rapidly and efficiently," Kohler said.

In addition to supporting a greater number of launch customers, the CLZ may attract other segments of the aerospace industry necessary to support flight operations that will benefit the entire state of Florida.

"The assignment of Launch Complex 36 will be an important milestone and part of a broader strategy to establish a CLZ at the Cape" added Kohler. "The Commercial Launch Zone is intended to enable space industry located at the Cape and in Florida to be more competitive in the global economy."

Launch Complex 36 was opened for business by NASA in 1961 and was most recently used as a military and commercial Atlas launch site. U.S. Surveyor, Mariner and Pioneer missions to the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn and other destinations were launched from this complex, followed in later years by weather satellites, military space assets and commercial satellite missions.

The final rockets launched from Launch Complex 36 in 2004, and the Air Force shut down the complex.

hlbjr
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From: Delray Beach Florida USA
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posted 08-08-2008 10:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Florida Today is reporting Spaceport Florida has acquired a 5 year license to develop the launch system at Complex 36. Here's the link to the story.

I'm glad the Complex won't be completely destroyed but I'm also a little sad at the loss of some historical structures.

Robert Pearlman
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Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-23-2008 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Governor of Florida release
Governor Crist, Space Florida and 45th Space Wing Host Launch Complex 36 Dedication

Today, Governor Charlie Crist, Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp and Space Florida President Steve Kohler were joined by Lt. General William Shelton, commander of the 14th Air Force, and Brigadier General Susan Helms, commander of Cape Canaveral's 45th Space Wing, to host an official dedication ceremony for Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

This event marks the U.S. Air Force's official "intent to lease" the site to Space Florida for build out of a launch pad that can accommodate light-to-medium lift vertical launches that support commercial, civil and military capabilities.

Addressing federal, state and local legislators, along with key aerospace leaders, Governor Crist stated, "Florida remains committed to the future legacy of space exploration and technology development. The aerospace economic cluster will create new jobs and benefit related sectors such as biotechnology and environmentally-friendly energy solutions vital to Florida's future."

More than 200 guests were in attendance at today's ceremony, including federal, state and local legislators.

"We are witnessing the dawn of a new era in commercial space exploration here in Florida," noted Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp. "Under the leadership of General Helms, the Air Force's commitment to commercial space allows the State of Florida to maximize research capabilities and commercialization possibilities of the International Space Station National Laboratory."

Steve Kohler, Space Florida President noted, "We are working with a number of commercial launch and payload customers right now that have expressed great interest in leveraging the 50 years of experience Florida has invested in space. From a strategic perspective, the build out of LC-36 is one activity in a broad array of actions to create and develop a Commercial Launch Zone, which is fundamental in establishing an effective, globally competitive economic environment for Florida and for the United States."

Environmental assessments will be initiated in Fall 2008, followed by the build out of Pad A, which is scheduled for completion by Fall 2010. Infrastructure development will be partially funded by a $14.5 Million appropriation by the 2008 Florida Legislature.

About Space Florida:

Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida's position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida's aerospace development organization, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive - and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-23-2008 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
U.S. Air Force release
Launch complex now available for civil, commercial launches

Officials with the Air Force and Space Florida made history during a dedication ceremony held here Oct. 22 when Space Launch Complex 36 officially was made available for operational use by the State of Florida, subject to completion of the environmental impact analysis.

Attending the historic ceremony were Florida Governor Charlie Crist; Florida Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp; Space Florida President Steve Kohler; Lt. Gen. William Shelton, 14th Air Force commander; and Brig. Gen. Susan Helms, 45th Space Wing commander.

General Shelton said Air Force leaders supported the initiative because it will make it easier for commercial providers to launch from the U.S. Having domestic launch options provides the U.S. with solid foundation for national security.

"This is a great partnership that is mutually beneficial to both the Air Force and the state," he said. "We take great pride in helping foster the success of the commercial space sector; I'm confident the spirit of innovation and the cooperation that made this a reality will continue in the years ahead."

Governor Crist also had positive things to say about the agreement.

"Florida has always been home to big ideas. The entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the DNA of Florida's economy," the governor said. "And thanks to the Air Force's decision, the door is now open to innovation and space opportunities never seen before. In tough economic times, it is important we do not sit idly by, but that we invest in economic opportunities for the future.

"What a tremendous opportunity to ensure that space exploration is a top priority and that the U.S. remains a leader right here from Florida," he said.

According to Space Florida officials, the reconfiguration of Launch Complex 36 will strengthen not only the state's aerospace industry but other growing economic sectors such as biotechnology and environmentally friendly energy technology vital to Florida's future. The launch complex will support light- to medium-lift vehicles that go into low-Earth orbit and beyond.

Space Florida's president sees this ground-breaking ceremony as a great beginning, both literally and figuratively.

"The Air Force assignment of Launch Complex 36 is an important next step to extending access to space," said Steve Kohler, Space Florida president.

"We are now making that available to both defense and security initiatives," he said, "with multiple commercial payloads and launch activities for both civil and private space businesses that want to launch from Florida. This direction by the Air Force, together with the tremendous support by the state, opens the door to attracting, supporting and sustaining national and international aerospace business here in Florida."

This effort also is in line with the mission of the 45th SW, according to General Helms.

"Our primary mission here is to assure access to the high frontier," she said. "This proposal better enables us to execute that mission. It's the ultimate 'win-win' situation for both the Air Force and the State of Florida."

NASA opened Launch Complex 36 in 1961, and most recently it was used as a military and commercial Atlas launch site. Missions to the moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn launched from the site, as well as weather satellites and commercial satellites. The Air Force shut down the complex in 2004.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-13-2010 11:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
U.S. Air Force release
Air Force licenses two launch complexes for commercial use

The 45th Space Wing has issued Real Property Licenses to Space Florida for Space Launch Complexes 46 and 36 here to attract the nation's next generation of spacelift customers.

As a result, the 45th Space Wing now grants Space Florida full rights to proceed with construction and refurbishment work at either launch location.

"These licenses are in line with the 45th Space Wing's mission, assuring access to the high frontier," said Col. Ed Wilson, 45th Space Wing commander. "This will help us to better execute that mission. It's a win-win-win for the Air Force, the state of Florida, and the nation."

"Within the past year, we have been working diligently with the 45th Space Wing and the Navy to secure full rights to these complexes," said Mark Bontrager, vice president of Space Florida's Spaceport Operations. "Through a mutual trust with both entities, we can now fully pursue build-out of these sites for commercial use. This will help to open up additional opportunities for Florida to take full advantage of the rapidly emerging commercial space marketplace. Having additional domestic launch sites ready for commercial utilization will also ensure the U.S. remains competitive from a global perspective."

Now that Real Property Licenses are secured for both sites, Space Florida said it will work with the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct all necessary due diligence required to secure a Launch Site Operators License for each complex.

This process is anticipated to take approximately 180 days. During this timeframe, the Air Force Safety Center and the Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board will also review an Explosive Site Plan for SLC-36.

Space Florida has conducted corrosion control and maintenance efforts on the Mobile Service Tower at SLC-46, and preliminary engineering studies show that further refurbishment of SLC-46 is needed to ready it for full commercial launch operations. With the Real Property License fully secured, Space Florida can now utilize its resources - including a special $1.1 million appropriation by Senator Bill Nelson through NASA - to prepare the site for an interested launch customer, whose identity is currently protected under Non-Disclosure Agreement.

In December 2009, a Joint Use Agreement was signed between the Navy and Space Florida to grant full utilization of the site by either party, as needed. There is no anticipated naval use for the site at this time.

The last active use of SLC-46 was in 1999 when RocSat 1 was launched on an Athena I for the Republic of China. The last recorded launch at SLC-36 was in February 2005, when an Atlas IIIB launched a classified NRO payload from pad 36B.

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