Space Launch Complex 40
KSC-20171215-PH AWG03 0009 (24214520767).jpg
SLC-40 during launch of SpaceX CRS-13 in December 2017, after repair and upgrade works to the pad between 2016–2017
Launch siteCape Canaveral Space Force Station
Location28°33′44″N 80°34′38″W / 28.562106°N 80.577180°W / 28.562106; -80.577180Coordinates: 28°33′44″N 80°34′38″W / 28.562106°N 80.577180°W / 28.562106; -80.577180
Short nameSLC-40
OperatorSpaceX[1]
Total launches153
Launch pad(s)1
Orbital inclination
range
28–98°
Launch history
StatusActive
First launch18 June 1965
Titan IIIC / Transtage
Last launch24 September 2022
Falcon 9 Block 5 / Starlink Group 4-35
Associated
rockets

Space Launch Complex 40[2][3] (SLC-40), previously Launch Complex 40 (LC-40) is a launch pad for rockets located at the north end of Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.

The launch pad was used by the United States Air Force for 55 Titan III and Titan IV launches between 1965 and 2005.[4] The facility underwent multiple upgrades including the design and construction of towers with retractable and foldable platforms for vehicle assembly, instrumentation and monitoring.[5]

After 2007, the US Air Force leased the complex to SpaceX to launch the Falcon 9 rocket.[1] As of August 2022, there have been 93 launches of the Falcon 9 from the complex.[6] The site was heavily damaged following the September 2016 Falcon 9 Flight 29 incident,[7] due to a catastrophic failure during a static fire test.[8] The complex was repaired and returned to operational status in December 2017 for the CRS-13 mission.[9]

Launch history

Rocket launches

7.5
15
22.5
30
1965
1970
1975
1980
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
2010
2015
2020

Titan

A Titan IV rocket with the Cassini–Huygens payload at LC-40 in 1997
A Titan IV rocket with the Cassini–Huygens payload at LC-40 in 1997
Launch Complex 40 with Titan rocket mobile service tower in 2007, prior to demolition to prepare for the construction of the SpaceX Falcon launch pad.
Launch Complex 40 with Titan rocket mobile service tower in 2007, prior to demolition to prepare for the construction of the SpaceX Falcon launch pad.

The first launch from SLC-40 (initially named LC-40) was the maiden flight of the Titan IIIC (June 18, 1965), carrying two transtage upper stages to test the functionality of the vehicle.

Two interplanetary missions were launched from the pad:

A total of 26 Titan IIICs, 8 Titan 34Ds, 4 Commercial Titan IIIs and 17 Titan IVs were launched between 1965 and 2005.[4] The final Titan launch from SLC-40 was the Lacrosse-5 reconnaissance satellite carried on a Titan IV-B on April 30, 2005.

The tower was disassembled during late 2007 and early 2008. Demolition of the Mobile Service Structure (MSS), by means of a controlled explosion, occurred on April 27, 2008, by Controlled Demolition, Inc.[10]

SpaceX - Falcon 9

SLC-40 in February 2010 with Falcon 9 v1.0 rocket carrying Dragon Spacecraft Qualification Unit
SLC-40 in February 2010 with Falcon 9 v1.0 rocket carrying Dragon Spacecraft Qualification Unit
SLC-40 with SpaceX Falcon 9 launch infrastructure, February 2015. The four towers surrounding the rocket are lightning rods.
SLC-40 with SpaceX Falcon 9 launch infrastructure, February 2015. The four towers surrounding the rocket are lightning rods.
Falcon 9 Flight 20 flightpaths from launch on SLC-40 to landing at LZ-1 (formerly LC-13)
Falcon 9 Flight 20 flightpaths from launch on SLC-40 to landing at LZ-1 (formerly LC-13)

On April 25, 2007, the US Air Force leased the complex to SpaceX to launch the Falcon 9 rocket.[1] During April 2008, construction started on the ground facilities necessary to support the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Renovations included installation of new liquid oxygen and kerosene tanks and construction of a hangar for rocket and payload preparation. The spherical liquid oxygen (LOX) tank was acquired from NASA. This LOX tank was previously used at LC-34.

The first Falcon 9 rocket arrived at SLC-40 in late 2008, and was first erected on January 10, 2009.[11] It successfully reached orbit on its maiden launch on June 4, 2010, carrying a dummy payload qualification unit.

SLC-40 was the primary launch facility of the original SpaceX Dragon, a reusable automated cargo vehicle which was used to provide two-way logistics to and from the International Space Station; a role previously filled by the Space Shuttle until its retirement in 2011.[12] SpaceX successfully launched the first test flight for the Dragon 1 from SLC-40 on December 8, 2010. Its first attempt to launch to and dock with the International Space Station successfully occurred on May 22, 2012, following an abort after engine ignition three days earlier. The upgraded SpaceX Dragon 2 launches from the nearby Kennedy Space Center LC-39A to allow for late loading of supplies through the Crew Access Arm.

SpaceX modified the launch pad in 2013 in order to support launches of the Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle, a 60% heavier rocket with 60% more thrust on realigned engines[13] and 60% longer fuel tank than the v1.0 version of the Falcon 9, requiring a modified transporter/erector.[14][needs update]

Accidents and incidents

On September 1, 2016 a Falcon 9 rocket was destroyed by an explosion that originated around the rocket's second stage while preparing for a routine static fire test on the SLC-40 launch pad. The explosion occurred during loading of liquid oxygen eight minutes prior to igniting the first stage engine as part of the test.[15]

A static fire is a test performed prior to launch to verify that both the launch vehicle and the ground systems are ready for flight. The test is identical to a launch until the moment of liftoff but instead of releasing the vehicle shortly after first stage engine ignition, the engines fire for a few seconds and then shut down. The second stage is fueled to test the interaction with the first stage and ground systems but remains otherwise inactive. After completion of a static fire test, the propellant and oxidizer are unloaded, the launch vehicle is lowered and the launch vehicle is returned to the hangar pending review and analysis of the data from the static fire test. SpaceX performs static fire tests to ensure that ground systems, as well as the launch vehicle, will perform nominally.

The static fire explosion resulted in the total loss of the rocket. The rocket's payload, the AMOS-6 satellite, was on-board and was also destroyed.[citation needed] In addition, the explosion resulted in extensive damage to the launch pad. It was reported to have cracked nearby windows and to have been felt up to 40 miles away. There were no personnel on the pad and no injuries from the explosion were reported.[16]

Repairs to and modernization of the launch pad began in early 2017 following completion of accident investigation and environmental cleanup.[17] SLC-40 returned to service with the launch of CRS-13 on 15 December 2017.[18] The pad was reportedly in good condition after the launch.[19] The initial launch of a Falcon Heavy from pad 39A was contingent upon the successful reactivation of pad 40.[20][21] Resumed launches from pad 40 freed up pad 39A for needed final modifications without affecting the SpaceX launch tempo.

List of launches

As of September 24, 2022

Past Launches

Date Time (UTC) Rocket Type Serial Number Mission / Payload
June 18, 1965 14:00 Titan III 3C-7 Transtage 5
October 15, 1965 17:24 Titan III 3C-4 OV-2
November 3, 1966 13:50 Titan III 3C-9 OV-4 / Gemini B
April 8, 1970 10:50 Titan III 3C-18 Vela 6A / Vela 6B
November 6, 1970 10:35 Titan III 3C-19 IMEWS 1
May 5, 1971 07:43 Titan III 3C-20 IMEWS 2
November 3, 1971 03:09 Titan III 3C-21 DSCS II F-1 / DSCS II F-2
March 1, 1972 09:39 Titan III 3C-22 IMEWS 3
June 13, 1973 07:14 Titan III 3C-24 IMEWS 4
December 13, 1973 23:57 Titan III 3C-26 DSCS II F-3 / DSCS II F-4
May 30, 1974 13:00 Titan III 3C-27 ATS 6
May 20, 1975 14:03 Titan III 3C-25 DSCS II F-5 / DSCS II F-6
December 14, 1975 05:15 Titan III 3C-29 IMEWS 5
March 15, 1975 01:25 Titan III 3C-30 LES 8 / LES 9 / Solrad 11A / Solrad 11B
June 26, 1976 03:00 Titan III 3C-28 IMEWS 6
February 6, 1977 06:00 Titan III 3C-23 IMEWS 7
May 12, 1977 14:26 Titan III 3C-32 DSCS II F-7 / DSCS II F-8
March 25, 1978 18:09 Titan III 3C-35 DSCS II F-9 / DSCS II F-10
June 10, 1978 19:12 Titan III 3C-33 Chalet 1
December 14, 1978 00:43 Titan III 3C-36 DSCS II F-11 / DSCS II F-12
June 10, 1979 13:39 Titan III 3C-31 IMEWS 10
October 1, 1979 11:22 Titan III 3C-34 Chalet 2
November 21, 1979 21:36 Titan III 3C-37 DSCS II F-13 / DSCS II F-14
March 16, 1981 19:24 Titan III 3C-40 IMEWS 11
October 31, 1981 09:22 Titan III 3C-39 Chalet 3
March 6, 1982 19:25 Titan III 3C-38 IMEWS 13
October 30, 1982 03:05 Titan 34D 34D-1 IUS DSCS II F-15 / DSCS III F-1
January 31, 1984 03:08 Titan 34D 34D-10 Transtage Chalet 4
April 14, 1984 16:52 Titan 34D 34D-11 Transtage DSP MOS/PIM
December 22, 1984 00:02 Titan 34D 34D-13 Transtage DSP Phase 2
November 29, 1987 03:28 Titan 34D 34D-8 Transtage DSP Phase 2
September 2, 1988 12:05 Titan 34D 34D-3 Transtage Chalet 5
May 10, 1989 19:47 Titan 34D 34D-16 Transtage Chalet 6
September 4, 1989 05:54 Titan 34D 34D-2 Transtage DSCS II F-16 / DSCS III F-4
January 1, 1990 00:07 Commercial Titan CT-1 Skynet 4A / JCSAT 2
March 14, 1990 11:52 Commercial Titan CT-2 Intelsat 6 F-3
June 23, 1990 11:19 Commercial Titan CT-3 Intelsat 6 F-4
September 25, 1992 17:05 Commercial Titan CT-4 Mars Observer
February 7, 1994 21:47 Titan IV 401A K-10 Centaur TC-12 Milstar 1-01
December 22, 1994 22:19 Titan IV 402A K-14 IUS DSP-1 Block 14 F17
May 14, 1995 13:45 Titan IV 401A K-23 Centaur TC-17 Orion 1
November 6, 1995 05:15 Titan IV 401A K-21 Centaur TC-13 Milstar 2
July 3, 1996 00:31 Titan IV 405A K-2 SDS-B4
February 23, 1997 20:20 Titan IV 402B K-24 IUS DSP-1 Block 18 F18
October 15, 1997 08:43 Titan IV 401B K-33 Centaur Cassini-Huygens
May 9, 1998 01:38 Titan IV 401B K-25 Centaur TC-18 Orion 2
April 30, 1999 16:30 Titan IV 401B K-26 Centaur TC-14 Milstar 2 DFS-3
May 8, 2000 16:01 Titan IV 402B K-29 IUS DSP-1 Block 18 F20
February 27, 2001 21:20 Titan IV 401B K-30 Centaur TC-22 Milstar 2 DFS-4
August 6, 2001 07:28 Titan IV 402B IUS DSP-1 Block 18 F21
January 16, 2002 00:30 Titan IV 401B Centaur TC-19 Milstar 2 DFS-5
April 8, 2003 13:43 Titan IV 401B Centaur TC-23 Milstar 6
September 9, 2003 04:29 Titan IV 401B Centaur TC-20 NROL-19
February 24, 2004 18:50 Titan IV 402B IUS DSP-1 Block 18 F22
April 30, 2005 00:50 Titan IV 405B IUS USA 182
June 4, 2010 18:45 Falcon 9 v1.0 F9-1 Dragon Spacecraft Qualification Unit
December 8, 2010 05:43 Falcon 9 v1.0 F9-2 Dragon COTS-1
May 22, 2012 07:44 Falcon 9 v1.0 F9-3 Dragon COTS-2
October 8, 2012 00:35 Falcon 9 v1.0 F9-4 Dragon CRS-1
March 1, 2013 15:10 Falcon 9 v1.0 F9-5 Dragon CRS-2
December 3, 2013 22:41 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-7 SES 8
January 6, 2014 22:06 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-8 Thaicom 6
April 18, 2014 19:25 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-9 Dragon CRS-3
July 14, 2014 15:15 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-10 Six Telecommunication satellites for Orbcomm
August 5, 2014 08:00 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-11 AsiaSat 8
September 7, 2014 05:00 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-12 AsiaSat 6
September 21, 2014 05:52 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-13 Dragon CRS-4
January 10, 2015 09:47 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-14 Dragon CRS-5
February 11, 2015 23:03 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-15 DSCOVR
March 2, 2015 03:50 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-16 Eutelsat 115 West B, ABS 3A
April 14, 2015 20:10 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-17 Dragon CRS-6
April 27, 2015 23:03 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-18 TurkmenAlem52E / MonacoSat 1
June 28, 2015 14:21 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-19 Dragon CRS-7 with IDA-1
December 22, 2015 01:29 Falcon 9 FT F9-20 Eleven Telecommunication satellites for Orbcomm
March 4, 2016 23:35 Falcon 9 FT F9-22 Communication satellite SES-9
April 8, 2016 20:43 Falcon 9 FT F9-23 Dragon CRS-8 with the inflatable ISS-Module BEAM in its unpressurized cargo section in the trunk
May 6, 2016 05:21 Falcon 9 FT F9-24 Japanese Communication satellite JCSAT-14
May 27, 2016 21:39 Falcon 9 FT F9-25 Communication satellite Thaicom 8
June 15, 2016 14:29 Falcon 9 FT F9-26 Communication satellites Eutelsat 117 West B and ABS 2A
July 18, 2016 04:45 Falcon 9 FT F9-27 Dragon CRS-9 with IDA-2
August 14, 2016 05:26 Falcon 9 FT F9-28 Japanese Communication satellite JCSAT-16
December 15, 2017 15:36 Falcon 9 FT F9-45 Dragon CRS-13
January 8, 2018 01:00 Falcon 9 B4 F9-47 Zuma
January 31, 2018 21:25 Falcon 9 FT F9-48 GovSat-1
March 6, 2018 05:33 Falcon 9 B4 F9-50 Hispasat 30W-6
April 2, 2018 20:30 Falcon 9 B4 F9-52 Dragon CRS-14
April 18, 2018 22:51 Falcon 9 B4 F9-53 TESS
June 4, 2018 04:45 Falcon 9 B4 F9-56 SES-12
June 29, 2018 09:42 Falcon 9 B4 F9-57 Dragon CRS-15
July 22, 2018 05:50 Falcon 9 B5 F9-58 Telstar 19V
August 7, 2018 05:18 Falcon 9 B5 F9-60 Telkom-4 (Merah Putih)
September 10, 2018 04:45 Falcon 9 B5 F9-61 Telstar 18V
December 5, 2018 18:16 Falcon 9 B5 F9-65 Dragon CRS-16
December 23, 2018 13:51 Falcon 9 B5 F9-66 GPS III SV01
February 22, 2019 01:45 Falcon 9 B5 F9-68 Nusantara Satu / S5 (Smallsat) / Beresheet
May 4, 2019 06:48 Falcon 9 B5 F9-70 Dragon CRS-17
May 24, 2019 02:30 Falcon 9 B5 F9-71 Starlink 1
July 25, 2019 22:02 Falcon 9 B5 F9-73 Dragon CRS-18
August 6, 2019 23:23 Falcon 9 B5 F9-74 AMOS 17
November 11, 2019 14:56 Falcon 9 B5 F9-75 Starlink 1 (v1.0)
December 5, 2019 17:29 Falcon 9 B5 F9-76 Dragon CRS-19
December 17, 2019 00:10 Falcon 9 B5 F9-77 JCSAT-18 / Kacific 1
January 7, 2020 02:19 Falcon 9 B5 F9-78 Starlink 2 (v1.0)
January 29, 2020 14:06 Falcon 9 B5 F9-80 Starlink 3 (v1.0)
February 17, 2020 15:05 Falcon 9 B5 F9-81 Starlink 4 (v1.0)
March 7, 2020 04:50 Falcon 9 B5 F9-82 Dragon CRS-20
June 4, 2020 01:25 Falcon 9 B5 F9-86 Starlink 7 (v1.0)
June 13, 2020 09:21 Falcon 9 B5 F9-87 Starlink 8 (v1.0) / SkySat 16–18
June 30, 2020 20:10 Falcon 9 B5 F9-88 GPS IIIA-3
July 20, 2020 21:30 Falcon 9 B5 F9-89 Anasis-II
August 18, 2020 14:31 Falcon 9 B5 F9-91 Starlink 10 (v1.0) / SkySat 19–21
August 30, 2020 23:19 Falcon 9 B5 F9-92 SAOCOM 1B / GNOMES 1 / Tyvak 0172
October 24, 2020 15:31 Falcon 9 B5 F9-96 Starlink 14 (v1.0)
November 5, 2020 23:24 Falcon 9 B5 F9-97 GPS IIIA-4
November 25, 2020 02:13 Falcon 9 B5 F9-100 Starlink 15 (v1.0)
December 13, 2020 17:30 Falcon 9 B5 F9-102 SXM-7
January 8, 2021 02:15 Falcon 9 B5 F9-104 Türksat 5A
January 24, 2021 15:00 Falcon 9 B5 F9-106 Transporter-1
February 4, 2021 06:19 Falcon 9 B5 F9-107 Starlink V1.0-L18
February 15, 2021 03:59 Falcon 9 B5 F9-108 Starlink V1.0-L19
March 11, 2021 08:13 Falcon 9 B5 F9-110 Starlink V1.0-L20
March 24, 2021 08:28 Falcon 9 B5 F9-112 Starlink V1.0-L22
April 7, 2021 16:34 Falcon 9 B5 F9-113 Starlink V1.0-L23
April 29, 2021 03:44 Falcon 9 B5 F9-115 Starlink V1.0-L24
May 9, 2021 07:42 Falcon 9 B5 F9-117 Starlink V1.0-L27
May 26, 2021 18:59 Falcon 9 B5 F9-119 Starlink V1.0-L28
June 6, 2021 04:26 Falcon 9 B5 F9-121 SXM-8
June 17, 2021 16:09 Falcon 9 B5 F9-122 GPS IIA-05
June 30, 2021 19:31 Falcon 9 B5 F9-123 Transporter-2
November 13, 2021 12:19 Falcon 9 B5 F9-128 Starlink Group 4-1
December 2, 2021 23:12 Falcon 9 B5 F9-130 Starlink Group 4-3
December 19, 2021 03:58 Falcon 9 B5 F9-133 Türksat 5B
January 13, 2022 15:25 Falcon 9 B5 F9-136 Transporter-3
January 31, 2022 23:11 Falcon 9 B5 F9-138 CSG-2
February 21, 2022 14:44 Falcon 9 B5 F9-141 Starlink Group 4-8
March 9, 2022 13:45 Falcon 9 B5 F9-144 Starlink Group 4-10
March 19, 2022 04:22 Falcon 9 B5 F9-145 Starlink Group 4-12
April 1, 2022 12:47 Falcon 9 B5 F9-146 Transporter-4
April 21, 2022 17:51 Falcon 9 B5 F9-149 Starlink Group 4-14
April 29, 2022 21:27 Falcon 9 B5 F9-151 Starlink Group 4-16
May 14, 2022 20:40 Falcon 9 B5 F9-154 Starlink Group 4-15
May 25, 2022 18:35 Falcon 9 B5 F9-156 Transporter-5
June 8, 2022 21:04 Falcon 9 B5 F9-157 Nilesat-301
June 19, 2022 04:27 Falcon 9 B5 F9-160 Globalstar FM15
June 29, 2022 21:04 Falcon 9 B5 F9-161 SES-22
July 7, 2022 13:11 Falcon 9 B5 F9-162 Starlink Group 4-21
July 17, 2022 14:20 Falcon 9 B5 F9-165 Starlink Group 4-22
August 4, 2022 23:08 Falcon 9 B5 F9-168 KPLO
August 19, 2022 19:21 Falcon 9 B5 F9-171 Starlink Group 4-27
August 28, 2022 03:41 Falcon 9 B5 F9-172 Starlink Group 4-23
September 5, 2022 02:09 Falcon 9 B5 F9-174 Starlink Group 4-20
September 19, 2022 00:18 Falcon 9 B5 F9-176 Starlink Group 4-34
September 24, 2022 23:32 Falcon 9 B5 F9-177 Starlink Group 4-35

Upcoming Launches

Date Time (UTC) Rocket Type Serial Number Mission / Payload

References

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  3. ^ "Table 3". Retrieved 9 October 2014.
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  13. ^ "Falcon 9's commercial promise to be tested in 2013". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  14. ^ Klotz, Irene (2013-09-06). "Musk Says SpaceX Being "Extremely Paranoid" as It Readies for Falcon 9's California Debut". Space News. Archived from the original on 2013-09-22. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  15. ^ "SpaceX Anomaly Update". SpaceX.com. September 2, 2016. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  16. ^ "SpaceX Anomaly Update". SpaceX.com. September 2, 2016. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  17. ^ Klotz, Irene (2013-08-02). "SpaceX Appetite for U.S. Launch Sites Grows". Space News. Archived from the original on September 5, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  18. ^ "SpaceX Will Launch Another Used Dragon Capsule to Space Station Soon". Space.com. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  19. ^ NASA Video (2017-12-15), SpaceX/Dragon CRS-13 Post Launch Briefing, archived from the original on 2021-12-18, retrieved 2017-12-16
  20. ^ Bergin, Chris (March 7, 2017). "SpaceX prepares Falcon 9 for EchoStar 23 launch as SLC-40 targets return". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved March 11, 2017. On the West Coast, three missions have set placeholders for launch from Vandenberg, namely Iridium 2 on June 17, the Formosat-5 mission on July 22 and Iridium-3 on August 24.
  21. ^ "Falcon Heavy build up begins; SLC-40 pad rebuild progressing well". 12 April 2017.