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San Nicolas
San Nicolas
San Nicolas
Credit: © Mark Wade
San Nicolas Island, Pacific Missile Range. Military facility on the California Channel Islands, used for rocket launches in support of other missile tests from Vandenberg or Point Mugu.

First Launch: 1957-07-02. Last Launch: 2011-02-23. Number: 79 . Location: California. Longitude: -119.5221 deg. Latitude: 33.2798 deg.



Family: Suborbital Launch Site. Country: USA. Launch Vehicles: Redstone, Nike Deacon, Nike Asp, Arcas, Caleb, Sparrow Arcas, Terrier/551, Rocketsonde, Aries, Black Brant IX, Arrow 2, Sounding Rocket, Terrier Lynx. Agency: USN. Bibliography: 2, 9531.

1957 July 2 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Deacon.
  • NRL NN7.37F Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 93 km (57 mi).

1957 July 3 - . 09:28 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Deacon.
  • NRL NN7.38F Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 113 km (70 mi).

1957 July 15 - . 14:23 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Deacon. FAILURE: Failure.
  • NRL NN7.39F Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 28 km (17 mi).

1957 July 23 - . 16:29 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Deacon.
  • NRL NN7.40F Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi).

1957 August 5 - . 12:10 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Deacon. FAILURE: Failure.
  • NRL NN7.41F Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 14 km (8 mi).

1957 August 20 - . 09:49 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Deacon.
  • NRL NN7.42F Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 96 km (59 mi).

1957 August 27 - . 08:54 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Deacon. FAILURE: Failure.
  • NRL NN7.43F Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 16 km (9 mi).

1957 August 28 - . 13:21 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Deacon.
  • NRL NN7.44F Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 96 km (59 mi).

1957 August 29 - . 14:12 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Deacon.
  • NRL NN7.45F Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 113 km (70 mi).

1957 September 12 - . 16:20 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Deacon. FAILURE: Failure.
  • NRL NN7.46F Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 3.00 km (1.80 mi).

1957 September 15 - . 13:27 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Deacon. FAILURE: Failure.
  • NRL NN7.47F Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1957 September 18 - . 18:42 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Deacon. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Solar Ultraviolet/Solar X-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 21 km (13 mi).

1957 September 18 - . 18:54 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Deacon.
  • Solar Ultraviolet/Solar X-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 77 km (47 mi).

1957 September 26 - . 20:00 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 16 km (9 mi).

1957 December 10 - . 18:10 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 169 km (105 mi).

1961 October 1 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Caleb.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN NOTS. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

    Satellite Interceptor Program (SIP) test vehicle. This was a follow-on to China Lake's "Notsnik" air-launched satellite and Caleb space-probe projects, SIP was a prototype air-launched satellite-killer system using primarily in-house technology and hardware.


1962 May 5 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Caleb.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN NOTS. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1963 March 18 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Sergeant.
  • Deployability test - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1963 March 20 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Sergeant.
  • Deployability test - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1963 March 21 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Sergeant.
  • Deployability test - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1964 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 04 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 03 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 06 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 05 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 09 Sphere - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 May 1 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 07 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 May 8 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 08 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 Aug - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro 10 Sphere - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 October 15 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Hydac. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Hydac.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1964 December 16 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro II Meteorological mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 December 17 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 December 17 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 December 17 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Frangible Arcas.
  • Frangible Arcas test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 39 km (24 mi).

1964 December 17 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro III Meteorological mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1965 March 9 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Hydac. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Hydac.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1965 May 10? - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas.
  • Boosted Rooster - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1965 May 10? - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas.
  • Boosted Rooster - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1965 May 10? - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sidewinder-Arcas.
  • Boosted Rooster - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1965 May 20 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Frangible Arcas.
  • AFFT-3/Arcasonde 1A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 21 km (13 mi).

1965 October 20 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier/551. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Flight test 1 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NMC. Apogee: 5.00 km (3.10 mi).

1965 October 21 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Corporal.
  • Anti-SLBM Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1965 Nov? - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Corporal.
  • Anti-SLBM Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1965 Nov? - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Corporal.
  • Anti-SLBM Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1965 November 29 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Complex: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Redstone.
  • Project Defender Redstone launch. - . Nation: USA. Redstone launched as ballistic missile target and was successfully intercepted by a US Navy Terrier surface-to-air missile launched from Point Mugu, California..

1965 November 30 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Redstone.
  • DAT-371 Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DARPA, US Army. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

    Redstone launched as ballistic missile target for a US Navy Terrier surface-to-air missile launched from Point Mugu, California. It was reported that there were two Redstone launches as part of Project Defender from November 30 to December 13, 1965, but details of the second launch are not known.


1965 December 1 - . 01:28 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Redstone.
  • DAT-371 Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: DARPA. Apogee: 8.00 km (4.90 mi).

1965 December 1 - . 01:28 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Platform: SHIP-US. Launch Vehicle: Terrier.
  • DAT-371 Intercept - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 8.00 km (4.90 mi).

1965 December 21 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Frangible Arcas.
  • AFFT-4/Arcasonde 1A - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1966 August 2 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier/551.
  • Flight test 2 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NMC. Apogee: 443 km (275 mi).

1967 May 4 - . 16:29 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Arcas.
  • Robin - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1968 September 11 - . 18:21 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Arcas.
  • Meteorological mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1969 May 7 - . 17:40 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Met Para, Arcasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 48 km (29 mi).

1970 September 16 - . 18:36 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Starute,Datasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 55 km (34 mi).

1973 October 17 - . 21:03 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Aries.
  • Dummy payload test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 270 km (160 mi).

1985 October 9 - . 03:00 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

1985 October 9 - . 03:25 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

1985 October 9 - . 04:35 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Arcasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1989 July 20 - . 19:39 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Super Loki.
  • ROCOZ-A 356 STOIC - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

1989 July 24 - . 19:22 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Super Loki.
  • ROCOZ-A 357 STOIC - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

1989 July 26 - . 20:53 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Super Loki.
  • ROCOZ-A 358 STOIC - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

1989 July 27 - . 18:49 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Super Loki.
  • ROCOZ-A 359 STOIC - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

1989 July 28 - . 18:27 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Super Loki.
  • ROCOZ-A 360 STOIC - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

1989 August 2 - . 17:38 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Super Loki.
  • ROCOZ-A 361 STOIC - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

2004 July 29 - . 17:25 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arrow. Launch Vehicle: Arrow 2.
  • USFT-1 ATBM test - . Nation: USA. Agency: MDA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

2004 August 26 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arrow. Launch Vehicle: Arrow 2.
  • USFT-2 ATBM test - . Nation: USA. Agency: MDA. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

2009 March 26 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. Launch Vehicle: Lance.
  • SRT - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

2009 June 6 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Lynx. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Lynx.
  • ABL Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: MDA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Target.

2009 June 13 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Lynx. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Lynx.
  • ABL Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: MDA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Target.

2009 August 11 - . 04:50 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IX.
  • NASA 36.229DR - . Mass: 150 kg (330 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: MDA. ABM target.

2010 January 10 - . 23:00 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IX.
  • MARTI/36.247DR - . Nation: USA. Agency: MDA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Target.

2010 February 3 - . 04:30 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IX.
  • ABL shoots down Black Brant target. - . Nation: USA. Agency: MDA. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

    First test of the Airborne Laser against a ballistic rocket in flight. The Terrier Black Brant unguided sounding rocket was destroyed in flight off California. This target was used as a low-cost vehicle representative of foreign solid-propellant short-range missiles.


2010 February 12 - . 04:44 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IX.
  • ABL fails to shoot down second target on same mission. - . Nation: USA. Agency: MDA. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi). First attempt to engage a second missile in a single mission by the Airborne Laser. A beam misalignment prompted a safe shutdown of the laser system earlier than planned and the Terrier Black Brant unguided sounding rocket was not destroyed..

2010 May 3 - . 09:47 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IX.
  • MARTI ABL Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: MDA. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

2010 October 21 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IX.
  • NASA 36.230DR - . Nation: USA. Agency: MDA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). ABM target..

2011 February 23 - . 06:32 GMT - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arrow. Launch Vehicle: Arrow 2.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: IAI. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

2015 June 6 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Standard-ER. Launch Vehicle: SM-3.
  • CTV-01 - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi). Test flight..

2015 December 8 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Standard-ER. Launch Vehicle: SM-3.
  • CTV-02 - . Nation: USA. Type: Test. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Test mission. Impacted in Point Mugu Sea Range..


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