Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Launch Pad 0

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Launch Pad 0
Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport - aerial photo.jpg
LP-0B (left) and LP-0A (center, with the large water tower)
Launch siteMARS (WFF)
Short nameLP-0
OperatorNASA
VCSFA
Total launches15
Launch pad(s)2
Pad A (LP-0A) launch history
StatusActive
Launches9
First launch23 October 1995
Last launch21 May 2018
Associated rocketsConestoga
Antares (active)
Pad B (LP-0B) launch history
StatusActive
Launches6
Associated rockets

Launch Pad 0, Pad 0 or LP-0, also known as Launch Complex 0,[1][2] Launch Area 0 or LA-0, is a launch complex at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia in the United States. MARS is located adjacent to NASA's Wallops Flight Facility (WFF),[1] which ran the launch complex until 2003. WFF continues to provide various support services to MARS launches under contract with the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The launch complex consists of two individual launch pads, LP-0A and LP-0B.

Coordinates: 37°51′N 75°28′W / 37.850°N 75.467°W / 37.850; -75.467

Launch statistics[edit]

1
2
3
4
2006
2011
2016

Chart excludes the only launch of Conestoga from pad 0A in 1995.

History[edit]

Pad 0A[edit]

Pad 0A with Antares rocket in November 2017, after repairs to the launch pad were completed.
Pad 0A facilities the day after the October 28, 2014 launch failure.

LP-0A was first built for the failed Conestoga rocket program.[3] The original launch tower was subsequently demolished in September 2008.[4] A new pad facility was built from 2009-2011 for Orbital Sciences Taurus II, now renamed Antares.[5] Pad modifications for Antares included the construction of a Horizontal Integration Facility for launcher/payload mating and a wheeled transporter/erector that will roll out and erect the rocket on its launch pad about 24 hours prior to launch.[5] The first launch of Antares occurred on April 21, 2013.[6]

The pad was reinforced with pilings and features a liquid fueling facility, flame trench, and deluge system for cooling and sound suppression. The pad is capable of supporting a gross liftoff weight of 453.6 metric tons (1,000,000 lb) and can launch payloads of up to 5,035 kilograms (11,100 lb) into low Earth orbit [7]

On October 28, 2014, an Orbital Systems Antares rocket, flying as mission Cygnus CRS Orb-3, crashed 6 seconds after takeoff and appeared to have done significant damage to the launch pad itself. On October 29, 2014, teams of investigators began examining debris at the crash site.[8] By May 2015, estimates had been revised down to around $13 million. At that time, NASA had committed $5 million, Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority committed $3 million and Orbital ATK $3 million. Repairs were underway and planned to be completed by September 2015, but repairs were only funded up to August with Virginia CSFA requesting that Orbital provide the remaining $2 million. On September 30, 2015, the spaceport announced repairs on pad 0A had been completed.[9] The launch pad resumed flight operations with the Cygnus CRS OA-5 mission on October 17, 2016.[10]

Pad 0B[edit]

Pad 0B with Minotaur V rocket before launch of LADEE in September 2013.

LP-0B became operational in 1999,[11] and was subsequently upgraded in 2003 with the construction of a mobile service tower, which was completed in 2004.[12] It is active, and is currently used by Minotaur rockets. The first launch from LP-0B was of a Minotaur I in December 2006,[13] and was the first launch from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.

Vector Space Systems announced on October 19, 2017 that their upcoming Vector-R rocket will be conducting three launches in the next two years, with an option for 5 additional launches, from pad 0B.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Commercial Space Transportation License LSO-02-007" (PDF). FAA. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Facility Access Plan" (PDF). Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS). p. 1.2.2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  3. ^ Wade, Mark. "Wallops Island LA0A". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
  4. ^ "Launch Tower Demolition". GMB. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
  5. ^ a b Kyle, Ed (2011-05-14). "TaConurus 2". Space Launch Report. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
  6. ^ "NASA Partner Orbital Sciences Test Launches Antares Rocket". NASA. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  7. ^ "MARS Launch Pad 0A" (PDF). Orbital Sciences.
  8. ^ "Teams investigate failure of unmanned rocket off Virginia coast". cnn.com. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Completion Of Repairs at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Launch Pad 0A". vaspace.org. September 30, 2015.
  10. ^ Graham, William (17 October 2016). "Antares 230 successfully returns with launch of OA-5 Cygnus". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Facilities". Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. Archived from the original on October 16, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
  12. ^ "Launch Pad 0-B" (PDF). Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 4, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
  13. ^ Wade, Mark. "Wallops Island LA0B". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
  14. ^ "Vector to perform first orbital launches from Virginia - SpaceNews.com". SpaceNews.com. 2017-10-24. Retrieved 2017-11-10.