Horizontal Integration Facility

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A horizontal integration facility (HIF) is a location within which the stages of a multistage rocket are brought together, before the assembled stack is rolled out to the launch pad or complex (LC) and raised into vertical position for launch.

HIF in the United States[edit]

Site Pad Vehicle HIF
Description Images Ref.
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station SLC-37 Delta IV 28°31′25″N 80°34′15″W / 28.5234928°N 80.5709624°W / 28.5234928; -80.5709624 A seven-story white building containing 2 bays measuring 250 feet (76 m) by 100 feet (30 m) each. Construction was completed in June 2000. Its floors are said to be the most level in the United States,[1] varying less than 0.38 in (9.6 mm) across each bay. The first and second stages of the rocket, along with any boosters that are being used for that flight, are integrated in the HIF, and then the stack is moved to the pad and raised to vertical. The payload and fairing are assembled later.
Delta first stages in front of the Horizontal Integration Facility at SLC-37.
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station SLC-40 Falcon 9 28°33′39″N 80°34′39″W / 28.5608909°N 80.577389°W / 28.5608909; -80.577389 SpaceX built its first Falcon 9 HIF on the south side of the pad. It measures 225 feet (69 m) long by 75 feet (23 m) wide and stands about 50 feet (15 m) tall.
Falcon 9 in SLC-40 hangar before roll-out - CRS-2 (KSC-2013-1676)
Kwajalein Atoll Omelek Island Falcon 1 9°02′50″N 167°44′34″E / 9.0473335°N 167.7427661°E / 9.0473335; 167.7427661 A HIF has been built by SpaceX. Exterior Interior [5]
Vandenberg Air Force Base LC-6 Delta IV 34°35′11″N 120°37′39″W / 34.5864694°N 120.6276137°W / 34.5864694; -120.6276137 A "cavernous"[6] HIF exists. The HIF contains two bays that can accommodate the Delta IV and Delta IV Heavy. Exterior [6]
Wallops Flight Facility Antares 37°50′44″N 75°28′31″W / 37.8454606°N 75.4751515°W / 37.8454606; -75.4751515[7] HIF built by Orbital Sciences Corporation. The HIF is 250 feet (76 m) long by 150 feet (46 m) wide by 60 feet (18 m) tall.[8] It opened in 2011.
Antares roll-out from one of the two bays

HIF elsewhere[edit]

Most Russian, Ukrainian and former Soviet launchers are integrated horizontally, including Dnepr, Proton, Rockot, Shtil' and Soyuz.


  1. ^ a b Heavy-lifting Delta 4 rocket to take test flight, Spaceflight Now, Justin Ray, 2003-11-19.
  2. ^ Complex 37, GlobalSecurity.org, John Pike, 2005-01-06.
  3. ^ Clark, Stephen (2009-01-12). "New SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket tests its Cape Canaveral pad". Spaceflight Now. Tonbridge, UK. Archived from the original on 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2015-01-28. 
  4. ^ Space Launch Report: SpaceX Falcon Data Sheet, Ed Kyle, 2008-12-02.
  5. ^ Falcon 1 Users Guide (Revision 7), SpaceX, 2008-05-15, page 35.
  6. ^ a b Launch Facility Profile: Vandenberg Air Force Base, The Aerospace Corporation, 2006-02-17.
  7. ^ Taurus II Development News, NASASpaceFlight.com Forums, Reply #7, Antonioe, 2009-01-09.
  8. ^ "Press Release: NASA Ushers In New Space Exploration Era At Wallops Flight Facility". NASA. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Development Status of a Medium-Class Launch Vehicle for ISS Cargo and Satellite Delivery, David Steffy, Orbital Sciences Corporation, 2008-07-15, page 9.

See also[edit]