Spaceflight Now Home





Hi-Def Video



Experience the space program like never before in stunning HD video!

Shuttle mission STS-125

Atlantis readied for final mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

 FULL INDEX

Shuttle mission STS-127

Endeavour's dual preps for standby rescue craft and June construction flight to space station.

 FULL INDEX

Shuttle mission STS-119

Take a loop around the International Space Station aboard the shuttle Discovery in stunning high definition.

 FULL INDEX

Launch of Kepler

Kepler planet-finder begins its mission to discover Earth-like worlds orbiting other stars in the galaxy.

 FULL INDEX

LRO and LCROSS

NASA's new lunar orbiter and impactor experiment are being prepped for launch in May.

 FULL INDEX

Delta 4 and GOES O

A Delta 4 rocket has rolled out to launch a new geostationary weather satellite.

 FULL INDEX

Shuttle mission STS-126

High definition from orbit! New clips from Endeavour's mission to the space station.

 FULL INDEX

From the vault

Historical footage from the early days of the space program.

 FULL INDEX

Become a subscriber
More video



Base considers disassembling historical launch complex
AIR FORCE RELEASE
Posted: April 27, 2009

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- Vandenberg is currently undergoing the planning stages of removing and disassembling pieces from one of its historical launch pads, Space Launch Complex-5.

The reason behind modifying the vacant complex came about when Vandenberg began receiving numerous requests from different agencies, programs and personnel around the globe for unused SLC-5 parts.

"As an architectural historian, I would like to preserve as much of SLC-5 as I can," said James Carucci, a 30th Civil Engineer Squadron architectural historian. "As it turns out though, there will be some benefits to this project. It will increase the amount of space between the launch pads on South Base, support Vandenberg's demolition programs and allow the base to give reusable equipment to someone who will use it. The Air Force and the Department of Defense will inevitably save money from this future project."

SLC-5 has left its mark on Vandenberg as well as in the history of space exploration.

In August 1961, the United States Navy received a contract for the construction of what is now known as SLC-5.

"SLC-5 was originally called Point Arguello Launch Complex before the space mission of the Navy and Air Force was consolidated in the latter part of the 1960's," said Mr. Carucci. "SLC-5 was originally built to accommodate NASA's Scout booster launches, which is historically important because it was the first solid-fueled rocket to orbit a satellite."

NASA's Scout booster was ahead of its time. It was capable of launching space probes, reentry payloads and satellites into a wider range of strategic orbital placing than any other booster of its time. The Scout booster gave way to valuable information concerning navigation, astronomy, communications, meteorology, geodesy, meteoroids, reentry materials, biology, and Earth and atmospheric sensing.

One piece of equipment Vandenberg plans to preserve from SLC-5 is its erector launcher, which is the mechanism used to raise and position the Scout booster. This piece of equipment received many requests from outside agencies for reuse, said Mr. Carucci.

Any changes made to SLC-5 will be documented in detail to prevent knowledge lost about the historic site.

"When a historic facility is given up or damaged a Historical American Engineering Record needs to be created," said Mr. Carucci. "The HAER is a written document with all of the plans and history of the facility. If SLC-5 is disassembled, a HAER will be written to document for future reference one of the properties from the Cold War era."

Documents like SLC-5's HAER are a visible product of Vandenberg's historic attributes.

John Glenn Mission Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Final Shuttle Mission Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Celebrate the shuttle program

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Anniversary Shuttle Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Mercury anniversary

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!


Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Fallen Heroes Patch Collection
The official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

INDEX | PLUS | NEWS ARCHIVE | LAUNCH SCHEDULE
ASTRONOMY NOW | STORE

ADVERTISE

© 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.