FL – One of the most historic launch complexes at Cape Canaveral, namely Space Launch
Complex-17 or SLC-17, that for some 6 decades launched many breakthrough science
missions for NASA, dozens and dozens of GPS and military satellites, and much more – is about to be
demolished Thursday morning, July 12, thus erasing space history.
capture a few last historic ‘Up Close’ last shots of the pair of intact pads, during a public bus tour of the base – where I also photographed
the Delta IV Heavy Up Close’ that will soon launch NASA’s Parker Solar
Probe. Read my Space UpClose story/pics
and follow up post demolition story.
truly sad and poor decision to destroy rather than preserve a storied site of American
Space History that harkens back to the Dawn of the Space Age by launching research
probes that’s contributed so much to human knowledge and other like the GPS
satellites that benefit virtually every human on Earth every moment of every
Air Force Station is actually comprised of two nearly identical but slightly
different pads: 17A and 17B located just a few hundred feet apart at the south end
of the Cape.
that they are vivid markers of the Space Coast Skyline and the prowess of
America’s Space Program – and they are especially and easily visible from
points south like Jetty Park and the beaches on Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach.
retired from use after its last launch back in September 2011 when a United
Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy lofted NASA’s twin GRAIL lunar orbiting probes
that measured the Moon’s gravity field in unprecedented detail.
took place in 1957 involving Thor intermediate range ballistic missiles that eventually became the
Delta family of rockets. Altogether 325 rockets blasted off from both pads 17A and 17B.
the most reliable rockets in history.
launched are famous twin Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, Mars Pathfinder, Dawn Asteroid Orbiter, MESSENGER Mercury Orbiter, Mars Phoenix, Spitzer Space Telescope, NEAR, WMAP and many many more.
carried out with little fanfare at about 7 a.m. EDT July 12.
Space Coast Area when they are leveled by
explosives toppling the towers and gantries.
facility and has no use apparently for preserving space history.
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK and more space and mission reports direct
from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and
Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human
spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com
–www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com