Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral Air Force Station|
|Location||28° 33' 44" N
80° 34' 38" W
|Operator||United States Air Force|
|Minimum / maximum
|First launch||Titan IIIC, 18 June 1965|
|Last launch||Falcon 9/SpaceX SES-8
3 December 2013
|Associated rockets||Titan III
Two interplanetary missions were launched from the pad:
- The failed Mars Observer spacecraft (September 25, 1992)
- The Cassini–Huygens mission to Saturn (October 15, 1997)
The final Titan launch from SLC-40 was the Lacrosse-5 reconnaissance satellite (Titan IV-B, April 30, 2005).
The tower was disassembled during late 2007 and early 2008. Demolition of the Mobile Service Structure (MSS), by means of a controlled explosion, occurred on April 27, 2008, by Controlled Demolition, Inc.
During April 2008, construction started on the ground facilities necessary to support the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Renovations include installation of new liquid oxygen and kerosene tanks and construction of a hangar for rocket and payload preparation.
The first Falcon 9 rocket arrived at SLC-40 in late 2008, and was erected for the first time on January 10, 2009. It successfully reached orbit on its maiden launch on June 4, 2010, carrying the Dragon Spacecraft Qualification Unit.
SLC-40 is the launch facility of the SpaceX Dragon, a reusable automated cargo vehicle which is currently being used to provide two-way logistics to and from the International Space Station; a role previously filled by the Space Shuttle until its retirement in 2011. SpaceX successfully launched the first test flight for the Dragon from SLC-40 on December 8, 2010. Its first attempt to dock with the International Space Station was successfully launched on May 22, 2012, following an abort after engine ignition three days earlier.
Commercial crew upgrades
In October 2009, NASA provided a pre-solicitation notice regarding an effort to be funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The commercial crew enabling work would include a "base task" of refurbishing and reactivating SLC-40 power transfer switches, performing maintenance on the lower Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) substation and motor control centers, installing bollards around piping, replacing the door frame and threshold for the Falcon Support Building mechanical room and repairing fencing around the complex perimeter. Several optional tasks would include work installing conductive flooring in the Hangar Hypergol area, performing corrosion control inspection and maintenance of the lightning protection tower's structural steel, upgrading and refurbishing other facility equipment and performing corrosion control on rail cars and pad lighting poles, painting several buildings, repairing and improving roads, and hydro-seeding the complex.[dated info]
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- McDowell, Jonathan (1998-02-22). "Issue 350". Jonathan's Space Report. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
- Table 3
- Kelly, John (April 25, 2007). "SpaceX cleared for Cape launches". Florida Today. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- Hidalgo Whitesides, Loretta (May 1, 2008). "Launch Pad Demolition Clears Way for SpaceX Rockets". Wired. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- Shanklin, Emily (January 12, 2009). "SpaceX's Falcon 9 on Launch Pad at Cape Canaveral". SpaceX.com. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- "NASA Selects SpaceX's Falcon 9 Booster and Dragon Spacecraft for Cargo Resupply Services to the International Space Station". SpaceX.com. December 23, 2008. Retrieved January 26, 2009.
- "Recovery Act: NASA Solicitation: Commercial Crew Enabling Initiative – Upgrades to Launch Complex 40". SpaceRef Interactive. October 27, 2009.