Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 10

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Space Launch Complex 10
Thor DSV-2U launch with DMSP-5D-F5 satellite.jpg
A Thor DSV-2U carrying a DMSP weather satellite launches from SLC-10W in 1980. This was the last orbital launch from the complex.
Launch site Vandenberg AFB
Location 34°45'55"N
Short name SLC-10
Operator US Air Force
Royal Air Force
Total launches 38
Launch pad(s) 2
Min / max
orbital inclination
51° – 145°
SLC-10W launch history
Status Inactive
Launches 32
First launch 14 August 1959
PGM-17 Thor
Last launch 15 July 1980
Thor DSV-2U / DMSP-5D1 F-5
PGM-17 Thor
Thor MG-18
Thor DSV-2U
SLC-10E launch history
Status Inactive
Launches 6
First launch 16 June 1959
PGM-17 Thor
Last launch 19 March 1962
PGM-17 Thor
PGM-17 Thor
Space Launch Complex 10
Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 10 is located in California
Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 10
Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 10 is located in the US
Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 10
Location Vandenberg Air Force Base, Lompoc, California
Coordinates 34°45′55″N 120°37′20″W / 34.76528°N 120.62222°W / 34.76528; -120.62222Coordinates: 34°45′55″N 120°37′20″W / 34.76528°N 120.62222°W / 34.76528; -120.62222
Architect United States Air Force
NRHP Reference # 86003511[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 23, 1986
Designated NHL June 23, 1986[2]

Space Launch Complex 10, or Missile Launch Complex 10,[3] is located on Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California. It was built in 1958 to test ballistic missiles and developed into a space launching facility in 1963.[4] Prior to 1966 Space Launch Complex 10 West was known as Vandenberg AFB Pad 75-2-6.[5] It remains a rare pristine look at the electronics and facilities created in that era that helped the United States grow its space capabilities.

The last launch from this complex was a Thor booster in 1980.[3] It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986.[2][3]

It is undergoing an eight-year restoration, and public visits are possible, if arranged in advance.[6]



SLC-10 was used to train military operators of PGM-17 Thor ballistic missiles, and to conduct missile launch tests. Seven launch attempts were conducted from SLC-10E by British Armed Forces Royal Air Force crews, of which six were successful. (There was also one PGM-17 Thor missile launch by an RAF crew from SLC-10W, which took place 1959-08-14.[3])

Johnston Island[edit]

The facilities at SLC-10 were dismantled and transported to Johnston Island in support of Operation Dominic, a nuclear weapons testing project conducted there in 1962.


The equipment was returned to Vandenberg to support early launches of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, which were conducted at SLC-10W from 1965 to 1980, using the Thor satellite launch vehicles, the first stages of which followed the design of the Thor missile.


  1. ^ National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "Space Launch Complex 10". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  3. ^ a b c d Captain Mark C. Mondl (January 3, 1986). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Space Launch Complex 10 / Missile Launch Complex 10" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying 5 photos, exterior and interior, undated. PDF (601 KB)
  4. ^ DOD NHL details for California
  5. ^ Ed Kyle (3 July 2009). "Thor Burner - Sixth in a Series Reviewing Thor Family History". 
  6. ^ NPS History of Aviation

External links[edit]