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LAUNCH COMPLEX 18 FACT SHEET

 

Written and Edited by Cliff Lethbridge

 

LAUNCH COMPLEX 18

 

Configuration: Single Blockhouse, Two Launch Pads

 

LAUNCH PAD 18A

 

Current Status: Inactive

 

First Launch: December 8, 1956

 

Final Launch: June 9, 1965

 

Number of Launches: 24

 

Vehicles Launched: Vanguard, Blue Scout Junior

 

LAUNCH PAD 18B

 

Current Status: Inactive

 

First Launch: June 4, 1958

 

Final Launch: April 12, 1962

 

Number of Launches: 23

 

Vehicles Launched: Thor, Blue Scout I, Blue Scout II, Mercury-Scout

 

Launch Complex 18 was built in support of the Vanguard rocket program. It was the site of perhaps the single most memorable rocket failure in American history. A Vanguard rocket intended to carry the first U.S. satellite into space exploded on Launch Pad 18A on December 6, 1957. There were, however, several successful Vanguard launches in coming months. Launch Pad 18B was a flat pad used to test Thor ground-based tactical launch equipment. Both launch pads were modified for the Air Force Scout rocket program. Launch Complex 18 is currently abandoned, with the blockhouse and launch pads intact.

 

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