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Space Launch Complex 6

VAFB Space Launch Complex 6

Also Known As: N/A

Systems
  • Titan IIIM (never launched)
  • Space Shuttle (never launched)
  • Titan IV Centaur (never launched)
  • Lockheed-Martin Launch Vehicle (LMLV-1)
  • Athena II
  • Delta IV Medium
  • Delta IV Heavy

Other Programs

  • Jumpseat
  • Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)
  • Ikonos
  • National Reconnaissance Office Launch (NROL)

Cost: Not stated

Launch Complex Highlights

  • 12 March 1966 - Start site preparation and construction for the Titan IIIM/Gemini (Manned Orbiting Laboratory). Site consisted of a Mobile Service Tower, a concrete launch pad, flame duct and Launch Control Center.
  • 10 June 1969 - MOL cancelled
  • 1972 - SLC-6 selected for Space Shuttle
  • 1975 - Approved as a Space Shuttle launch complex
  • January 1979-July 1986 - Reconstruction of the complex for Space Shuttle. Shuttle operations would be conducted at several locations on Vandenberg AFB. SLC-6 would include a Launch Control Center, Payload Preparation Room, Payload Change out Room, Shuttle Assembly Building, Access Tower, Launch Mount, Mobile Service Tower and three Exhaust Ducts. At South Vandenberg would be a Solid Rocket Motor Refurbishment and Subassembly Facility, External Tank Checkout and Storage facility and a Harbor. Shuttle would transported by a special 76-wheel transporter from North Vandenberg to SLC-6.
  • 31 July 1986 - Site placed in "operational caretaker status"
  • 20 September 1989 - Site place in mothball status
  • 6 July 1990 - Started modification of the complex for the Titan IV/Centaur
  • 22 March 1991 - Modification cancelled due to insufficient Titan IV launch requirements
  • January 1993 - Lockheed-Martin received approval to modify the complex for the Lockheed-Martin Launch Vehicle (LMLV)
  • 1994 - Another contract to modify the shuttle launch mount for a small milk-stool platform over one exhaust duct for a large solid rocket booster.
  • 15 August 1995 - First LMLV-1 launch
  • Some hardware was redesigned and tested for the Athena
  • 23 August 1997 - First Athena launch
  • 1 September 1999 - Complex modified for the Delta IV, including a new 650-ton launch table. Renovation and modifications included a 325 foot Mobile Service Tower (MST), 270 foot Mobile Assembly Shelter (MAS), 200 foot Fixed Ubilical Tower (FUT) with 180 foot lightning tower, Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) with two bays. Shuttle harbor docks would be used for the Delta Mariner cargo vessel.
  • 27 June 2006 - First Delta IV Medium launch
  • 20 January 2010 - First Delta IV Heavy launch
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Photo Gallery
Shuttle Enterprise on the pad - SLC-6 - October 1985