After reaching an settlement with House Launch Delta 30, SpaceX will take over the lease of House Launch Complicated 6 (SLC-6). SLC-6 was previously utilized by United Launch Alliance to launch the Delta IV rocket household from the West Coast, primarily for the Nationwide Reconnaissance Workplace.
SLC-6 was initially inbuilt 1966 to host the Titan III launch car to launch the Manned Orbital Laboratory. The Manned Orbital Laboratory was subsequently canceled in 1969 earlier than any launches occurred, and work was paused. It wasn’t till 1979 that work continued following SLC-6 being chosen as one of many websites to host House Shuttle launches for the U.S. Air Pressure. Building on the pad for future House Shuttle missions completed in 1986. Nevertheless, the tragic accident that was the House Shuttle Challenger catastrophe drastically modified the outlook for the House Shuttle program and resulted within the cancellation of House Shuttle launches from SLC-6.
The launch complicated went on to host varied launches throughout the Nineties earlier than it was retrofitted to host the Delta IV household of rockets. The Delta IV went on to efficiently fly ten occasions from 2006 to 2022, 5 of which have been the Delta IV Heavy launch car. The final Delta IV Heavy launch from SLC-6 occurred in September 2022.
In July 2011, SpaceX introduced its intention to launch each the Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9 rockets from Vandenberg House Pressure Base. Initially, the corporate launched solely the Falcon 9 from Vandenberg, however it should quickly start retrofitting SLC-6 to help each the Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9 launch automobiles for future missions. It will present one more launch website for SpaceX to assist improve its unbelievable launch cadence.
It’s nonetheless unsure if SpaceX will construct one other Starship launch pad at SLC-6 much like how they’ve carried out at LC-39A at Kennedy House Heart in Florida. With Polar Orbit launches being an possibility from the East Coast now, they could solely elect to concentrate on Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9 from SLC-6 for now. What is for certain is that this can present one more launch website for SpaceX to proceed to extend its spectacular launch cadence, and it is going to be a beneficial launch website for SpaceX to launch Nationwide Safety launches for the Division of Protection and the Nationwide Reconnaissance Workplace.