Vandenberg AFB Launch Complex 576

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Coordinates: 34°44′22″N 120°37′09″W / 34.73944°N 120.61917°W / 34.73944; -120.61917

Taurus rocket on LC-576E
Atlas ICBM sequence images of missile erection, fueling, and launch at Vandenberg AFB, California.

Launch Complex 576, also known as Area 576, is a group of rocket launch pads at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The pads at the complex were used from 1959 until 1971 to launch SM-65 Atlas missiles. The site was also known as Complex ABRES.[1] Pads in Area 576 include 576-A-1,2,3, 576-B-1,2,3, 576-C, 576-D, 576-E, OSTF-1 and OSTF-2.[2]

576-E
Vandenberg Air Force Base Launch Complex 576E.jpg
Short name LF-02
Operator US Air Force
Launch pad(s) 1
Launch history
Status Inactive
Associated rockets Minuteman

The first operational launch of an Atlas missile by the Strategic Air Command was conducted from 576-A-2 by the 576th Strategic Missile Squadron on September 9, 1959. It impacted 4,480 nautical miles (8,300 km) away, near Wake Island.[3]

The first Atlas F launch at Vandenberg took place from 576-E on August 1, 1962.[4] Orbital Sciences Corporation now launches their Taurus rockets from 576-E.[5][6] 576-E is also a candidate site for launches of Kinetic Energy Interceptor boosters. The USAF and Missile Defense Agency anticipate a minimum of three KEI launches per year from 2009 to at least 2012.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vandenberg ABRES". Encyclopedia Astronautica. 
  2. ^ "VANDENBERG AFB - HOME OF THE 576th STRATEGIC MISSILE SQUADRON". SiloWorld. 
  3. ^ "Vandenberg 576A2". Encyclopedia Astronautica. 
  4. ^ "ATLAS F". SiloWorld. 
  5. ^ Jim Kirkpatrick. "Vandenberg Air Force Base". 
  6. ^ a b Federal Register /Vol. 73, No. 245 / Friday, December 19, 2008 / Proposed Rules, page 77579.