Friday, March 9, 2012

History and Space

While on my trip to LA and Lompoc, I had the opportunity to visit some of the history of American space fight.

That would be some of the Space Launch Complexes (SLCs pronounced slick) associated with space launches from Vandenberg AFB, CA.

This was the second time that something named for the former Chief of Staff of the Air Force Hoyt S. Vandenberg and I had crossed paths. The first was the ship, named after him, that I had the pleasure of diving while visiting Key West a few years ago. And now, the Air Force Base which carries his name.

Although I drove by a number of the SLCs, I was able to take a couple images of two of them--SLC-6 and SLC-8.

SLC-6 is interesting in that it was constructed to support space shuttle launches, but shortly after everything was completed, it was decided that the space shuttle would launch only form Cape Canaveral.

The big white building is SLC-6 which is now used for other launches.

The smaller facility SLC-8, which is dark in the image, is for smaller experimental rockets.

Despite the belief that with the demise of the space shuttle program the US was no longer engaging is space--I witnessed a lot of activity at many of the SLCs and can attest that between the government and private industry we are still forging a path into the final frontier.

We may have lost the capability to put men into space for a while--but we are still alive.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD


Anonymous said...

Bob - Good Summary. One of the reasons the shuttle efforts were consolidated at the Cape is that it was so hard to land a shuttle at Vandenberg - Smile - Dick B

Bernard Richard said...

Bob - Good item. One of the reasons shuttle operations were consolidated at the Cape is that it was so hard to land the shuttle at Vanderberg AFB - Smile - Dick

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