Air Force Space and Missile Museum
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Launch Complexes 1-2

Launch Complexes 1-2 Systems

Other Programs

  • Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS)
  • Helicopter pads for Mercury Program

Cost

  • $930,098 for the launch complex
  • Pads $50,000 each
  • Tunnels to pads $95,500 each
  • Blockhouse $280,384

Launch Complex Highlights

  • 18 October 1951 - Contract awarded to build two launch complexes for the Snark missile.
  • 26 October 1951 - 15 November 1952 - Construction of the complex.
  • 30 June 1953 - Air Force accepted Pad 1
  • 30 November 1953 - Air Force accepted Pad 3
  • Originally located at the intersection of Central Control Road and Lighthouse Road before Launch Complex 36 was built
  • 29 August 1952 - 5 December 1960 - 94 Snark and 3 dummy Snark launched.
  • 20 June 1951 - First Matador launch.
  • Matador were launched from truck mounted launchers located in several cleared areas east of Pads 1 and 2 using sandbagged above ground bunkers as launch control points. The Matadors were brought to these pads for launching when construction was completed.
  • 1957-1958 - Metal semi-permanent preflight buildings 1 and 2 were constructed northwest of the pads to serve as a test shop for the missiles. Pre-launch shelters were metal shelter with canvas awnings on wheels.
  • Constructed for the Snark winged missile program, the blockhouse had four-inch thick tempered laminated glass. The image was received through the glass and reflected downward and inward to the observers using a pair of mirrors and another tempered glass window. Blockhouse was 2,172 square feet. The tunnels to the pads were 4'-8' wide and 7.6' high. An observation deck was on top of the blockhouse.
  • Each reinforced concrete launch pad was 100 x 200 feet, 8 inches thick and the blockhouse was about 100 feet from the pads. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was the contractor.
  • 1 June 1961 - Last Matador launch.
  • Total of 286 Matador launches from the Cape
  • 1962 - Launch complex deactivated as a missile site and later served as a staging area for amphibious rescue vehicles and a helicopter pad for the Mercury and Gemini programs.
  • 1983 - 1989 - Complexes supported Tethered Aerostat Radar System (balloon) for coastal surveillance system
  • Mid-1990s - Both pads completely deactivated and presently inactive
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Virtual Views

Blockhouse

History Center Storyboard
History Center Storyboard - Launch Complexes 1-2

Photo Gallery
6 February 1973 - Launch Complexes 1-4