Spaceport Florida Launch Complex 36
|Launch site||CCAFS (1962-2010)
Spaceport Florida (2010—)
US Air Force
|Min / max
|28° - 57°|
|(S)LC-36A launch history|
|First launch||18 May 1962
Atlas LV-3C Centaur-A AC-1
|Last launch||31 August 2004
Atlas IIAS / NROL-1
|(S)LC-36B launch history|
|First launch||11 August 1965
Atlas LV-3C Centaur-D / Surveyor D-2
|Last launch||3 February 2005
Atlas III / NROL-23
Launch Complex 36 (LC-36)—formerly 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. It was used for Atlas launches by NASA and the US Air Force from 1962 until 2005.
In 2015, Blue Origin leased the launch site from Space Florida for launching Blue's orbital rockets, after Space Florida had previously leased the facility from the USAF in 2010 in order to facilitate commercial use of the land and facilities since the Air Force no longer required use of the launch complex.
Historically, the complex consisted of two launch pads, SLC-36A and SLC-36B, and was the launch site for the Pioneer, Surveyor, and Mariner probes in the 1960s and 1970s. There were a total of 69 and 76 launches from pads 36A and 36B, respectively, while the US government operated the launch complex in the first five decades of spaceflight.
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 2008, Aviation Week magazine reported that the U.S. Air Force committed to lease Launch Complex 36 to Space Florida for future use by the Athena III launch system, but that program had not moved forward as late as 2013.
2006 tower demolition
The legacy Atlas-Centaur umbilical towers of both pads were demolished in 2006. 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).
Blue Origin lease
Blue Origin has leased the land at Launch Complex 36 from the Florida state space agency, Space Florida, and will manufacture their new BE-4-powered orbital launch vehicle at the nearby Exploration Park, also a part of the Space Florida land complex. As of 2015[update], the first Blue launch from LC36 is planned for before 2020.
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