Space Launch Complex 37
The launch of GOES-N atop a Delta IV, from SLC-37B in 2006
Map
Launch siteCape Canaveral Space Force Station
Location28°31′55″N 80°34′01″W / 28.531986°N 80.566821°W / 28.531986; -80.566821
Short nameSLC-37
OperatorUnited States Space Force
Total launches43
Launch pad(s)2
Orbital inclination
range
28° - 57°
LC-37A launch history
StatusDemolished
LaunchesNone
First launchUnused
Associated
rockets
Saturn I, Saturn IB
SLC-37B launch history
StatusInactive
Launches43
First launch29 January 1964
Saturn I (SA-5)
Last launch9 April 2024
Delta IV Heavy (NROL-70)
Associated
rockets
Proposed: Starship[1]
Retired: Saturn I, Saturn IB, Delta IV

Space Launch Complex 37[2][3] (SLC-37), previously Launch Complex 37 (LC-37), is a launch complex on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Construction began in 1959 and the site was accepted by NASA to support the Saturn I program in 1963.[4] The complex consists of two launch pads. LC-37A has never been used, but LC-37B launched uncrewed Saturn I flights (1964 to 1965) and was modified and launched Saturn IB flights (1966 to 1968), including the first (uncrewed) test of the Apollo Lunar Module in space (Apollo 5).[4] It was deactivated in 1972. In 2001 it was modified as the launch site for Delta IV, a launch system operated by United Launch Alliance.

The original layout of the launch complex featured one Mobile Service Structure which could be used to service or mate a rocket on either LC-37A or 37B, but not on both simultaneously. The Delta IV Mobile Service Tower is 330 ft (100 m) tall, and fitted to service all Delta IV configurations, including the Delta IV Heavy.[5] Plans are being proposed for SpaceX Starship operations from LC-37 in near future, as the Delta family's last rocket, i.e., Delta IV Heavy retired on April 2024.[1] The draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by the Federal Aviation Administration is due in December 2024, with a final study by September 2025.[6]

Launch history

Rocket configuration

1
2
3
4
1964
1968
2000
2005
2010
2015
2020

Saturn

All flights operated by NASA.

Apollo 5 at LC-37B in 1968
Date Launch vehicle Payload Mission/function Remarks
Jan. 29, 1964 Saturn I none SA-5 First live S-IV second stage
May 28, 1964 Saturn I BP-13 boilerplate CSM A-101 (SA-6) First boilerplate CSM
Sept. 18, 1964 Saturn I BP-15 boilerplate CSM A-102 (SA-7)
Feb. 16, 1965 Saturn I Pegasus A and BP-16 boilerplate CSM A-103 (SA-9) Pegasus studied micrometeoroid impacts
May 25, 1965 Saturn I Pegasus B and BP-26 boilerplate CSM A-104 (SA-8)
July 30, 1965 Saturn I Pegasus C and BP-9A boilerplate CSM A-105 (SA-10)
July 5, 1966 Saturn IB none AS-203 Test of S-IVB; informally called Apollo 3
Jan. 22, 1968 Saturn IB LM-1 Apollo 5 Test of the first lunar module

Delta

In 1998, Boeing secured the right to use SLC-37 for launch of the Delta IV rocket family. Facility modifications were made to SLC-37B and the first launch occurred in 2002. The Delta IV Medium was launched from SLC-37 from 2002 until 2022,[7] and the Delta IV Heavy had been launched from SLC-37 from 2004 to 2024.[8]

Starship

In 2024, after the retirement of the Delta IV Heavy, the FAA initiated an Environmental Impact Statement for potential Starship launch activity from the complex. The draft is set to be released by December 2024.[9]

Photos

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Space Force Starship EIS – Environmental Impact Statement for SpaceX Starship-Super Heavy Operations at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station". Retrieved 2024-02-16.
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan (1998-02-22). "Issue 350". Jonathan's Space Report. Jonathan's Space Page. Archived from the original on 2010-05-03. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
  3. ^ "Delta-IV Heavy to launch last DSP satellite". www.afspc.af.mil. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Complex 37 -- Cape Canaveral Air Station". Federation of American Scientists (www.fas.org). 2000-06-16. Archived from the original on 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
  5. ^ "Boeing, Raytheon Top Off Nation's Newest Launch Tower". Boeing. March 2, 2000. Archived from the original on 2008-12-02.
  6. ^ Stone, Mark (2024-03-17). "Starship Coming to Florida". Hernando Sun. Retrieved 2024-04-14.
  7. ^ "Delta IV Medium's well-earned retirement with GPS finale". NASASpaceflight. Retrieved September 30, 2023.
  8. ^ "Launch Complex 37". Cape Canaveral Space Force Museum. Retrieved September 30, 2023.
  9. ^ Stone, Mark (2024-03-17). "Starship Coming to Florida". Hernando Sun. Retrieved 2024-04-14.

28°31′55″N 80°34′01″W / 28.531986°N 80.566821°W / 28.531986; -80.566821