Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 10

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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
Associated rockets 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
Associated rockets PGM-17 Thor
Space Launch Complex 10
Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 10 is located in California
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
Governing body 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. ^ Staff (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 (7/3/2009). "Thor Burner - Sixth in a Series Reviewing Thor Family History".  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ NPS History of Aviation

External links[edit]