Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral Air Force Station|
|Operator||United States Air Force|
|Min / max
After 2007, the US Air Force leased the complex to Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to launch the Falcon 9 rocket. The pad has been used for 25 Falcon 9 launches from June 2010 through August 2016.
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 included 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 a dummy payload 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.
SpaceX modified the launch pad in 2013 in order to support launches of the Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle, a 60 percent heavier rocket with 60 percent more thrust on realigned engines and 60 percent longer fuel tank than the v1.0 version of the Falcon 9, requiring a modified transporter/erector.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40.|
|Wikinews has related news: Last Titan launch complex at Cape Canaveral demolished|
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