Spaceport Florida Launch Complex 36

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Launch Complex 36
Atlas Centaur 27 with Pioneer 10 on launch pad.jpg
An Atlas-Centaur at LC-36 prior to the launch of Pioneer 10
Launch site CCAFS (1962-2010)
Spaceport Florida (2010—)
Location 28°28′14″N 80°32′24″W / 28.47056°N 80.54000°W / 28.47056; -80.54000Coordinates: 28°28′14″N 80°32′24″W / 28.47056°N 80.54000°W / 28.47056; -80.54000
Short name SLC-36
Operator Space Florida
US Air Force
Total launches 145
Launch pad(s) 2
Minimum / maximum
orbital inclination
28° - 57°
(S)LC-36A launch history
Status Inactive
Launches 69
First launch 18 May 1962
Atlas LV-3C Centaur-A AC-1
Last launch 31 August 2004
Atlas IIAS / USA-179
Associated rockets Atlas-Centaur
Atlas I
Atlas II
(S)LC-36B launch history
Status Inactive
Launches 76
First launch 11 August 1965
Atlas LV-3C Centaur-D / Surveyor D-2
Last launch 3 February 2005
Atlas III / USA-181
Associated rockets Atlas-Centaur
Atlas I
Atlas II
Atlas III

Launch Complex 36 (LC-36), 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. Now operated under license by Space Florida, it was used for Atlas launches from 1962 until 2005.[1][2] The complex consisted of two pads, SLC-36A and -36B, and was the launch site for the Pioneer, Surveyor, and Mariner probes.[3] There were 69 and 76 launches from pads 36A and 36B, respectively.

The Atlas rockets launched from Complex 36 were replaced by the Atlas V launch vehicle which launches from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral beginning in 2002.


LC-36A was the scene of the biggest on-pad explosion in Cape history when Atlas-Centaur AC-5 fell back onto the pad on March 2, 1965. The accident spurred NASA to complete work on LC-36B which had been abandoned when it was 90% finished.

In March 2010, the USAF 45th Space Wing issued Real Property Licenses to Space Florida for Space Launch Complexes 36 and 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.[4][5]

2006 tower demolition[edit]

The legacy Atlas-Centaur umbilical towers of both pads were demolished during the autumn of 2006.[6] The mobile service towers were both demolished in controlled explosions on June 16, 2007. Tower B was demolished at 13:59 GMT (09:59 EDT) and tower A followed twelve minutes later at 14:11 (10:11 EDT).[7]

Current use[edit]

Moon Express leased the pad in February 2015 from Space Florida to use as a test site for the MTC-1X Lunar lander flight test vehicle.[8]

An Atlas III launches from SLC-36B 
The MSS of Space Launch Complex 36A falls to the ground after critical supports are destroyed in a controlled explosion. (NASA

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McDowell, Jonathan (February 22, 1998). "Issue 350". Jonathan's Space Report. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Table 3 — Launch Capability in Florida". AU-18 Space Handbook. Air War College Gateway to the Internet. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  3. ^ Research Triangle Institute, Center for Aerospace Technology (CAST), Florida Office (March 1999). "Launch Site Safety Assessment, Section 1.0 Eastern Range General Range Capabilities" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. p. 31. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Air Force licenses two launch complexes for commercial use". Retrieved March 15, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Space Florida secures licenses for Launch Complexes 46 and 36". Retrieved March 15, 2010. 
  6. ^ Coledan, Stefano S. (February 28, 2006). "Slowly Crumbling, NASA Landmarks May Face the Bulldozer". The New York Times (Cape Canaveral: The New York Times). Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  7. ^ Warren, Ken (June 21, 2007). "Historic complex 36 towers toppled". Air Force (Patrick Air Force Base: 45th SW Public Affairs). Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  8. ^ Clark, Stephen (24 January 2015). "Former Atlas launch pad gets a new tenant". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 

External links[edit]