Encyclopedia Astronautica
Vandenberg SLC6


Delta IV, Athena launch complex. Space Launch Complex

Longitude: -120.6266 deg.
Latitude: 34.5813 deg.
First Launch: 1995.08.15.
Last Launch: 2006.11.04.
Number: 6 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • GemStar American communications satellite. One launch, 1995.08.15. Global Electronic Messaging Satellite. More...
  • Lewis American earth land resources satellite. One launch, 1997.08.23. Lewis was selected in the NASA SSTI (Small Spacecraft Technology Initiative) program, along with Clark, to demonstrate advanced spacecraft technologies. More...
  • Ikonos American civilian surveillance satellite. 2 launches, 1999.04.27 (Ikonos 1) and 1999.09.24 (Ikonos). The first high resolution commercial imaging satellite. More...
  • DMSP Block 5D-3 American earth weather satellite. 4 launches, 1999.12.12 (USA 147) to 2009-10-18. Military spacecraft similar in design to the civilian NOAA weather satellites. More...
  • Jumpseat-2 American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 2 launches, 2006.06.25 (USA 200) to 2008.03.13 (USA 200). More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Athena-1 American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Basic version of the Athena with a Castor 120 first stage, Orbus second stage, and OAM Orbital Adjustment Module. More...
  • Athena-2 American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. The Athena-2 version featured a Castor 120 first stage, Castor 120 second stage, Orbus third stage, and OAM Orbital Adjustment Module. More...
  • Delta IV Medium+ (4.2) American orbital launch vehicle. As Delta 4 medium but with 2 x GEM-60 solid rocket boosters and a 4 m diameter payload fairing. More...
  • Delta IV Medium American orbital launch vehicle. Basic Delta-4 vehicle with no strap-ons, the core vehicle, and RL10B-1 upper stage with a 4 m diameter payload fairing. World's first all-cryogenic launch vehicle. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...

Vandenberg SLC6 Chronology


1995 August 15 - . 22:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Athena. Launch Vehicle: Athena-1. LV Configuration: LLV-1 DLV. FAILURE: Destroyed by range safety 160 sec into flight after failure of thrust vector control system.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • GemStar 1 (VitaSat) - . Payload: Gemstar DSS-1. Mass: 113 kg (249 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: LMSC. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: GemStar. Decay Date: 1995-08-15 . COSPAR: F950815A. Summary: Global Electronic Messaging Satellite;..

1997 August 23 - . 06:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Athena. Launch Vehicle: Athena-1. LV Configuration: LMLV-1 LM-002.
  • Lewis - . Payload: SSTI/Lewis. Nation: USA. Agency: TRW; NASA. Manufacturer: Chantilly. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: Lewis. Decay Date: 1997-09-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 24909 . COSPAR: 1997-044A. Apogee: 134 km (83 mi). Perigee: 124 km (77 mi). Inclination: 97.5000 deg. Period: 87.10 min. Summary: Reentered Sep 28.

1999 April 27 - . 18:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Athena. Launch Vehicle: Athena-2. LV Configuration: Athena-2 LM-005. FAILURE: Payload shroud failed to separate four minutes after launch.. Failed Stage: S.
  • Ikonos 1 - . Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ikonos. COSPAR: F990427A. Tracking stations downrange did not pick up the spacecraft. It was later determined that the rocket nose fairing failed to separate four minutes after launch. The extra mass caused the vehicle to reenter over the South Pacific on the first partial orbit. Space Imaging's Ikonos 1 was to have been the first commercial imaging satellite with a high a resolution camera.

1999 September 24 - . 18:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Athena. Launch Vehicle: Athena-2. LV Configuration: Athena-2 LM-007.
  • Ikonos - . Mass: 726 kg (1,600 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: SpaceIm. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ikonos. USAF Sat Cat: 25919 . COSPAR: 1999-051A. Apogee: 679 km (421 mi). Perigee: 678 km (421 mi). Inclination: 98.1000 deg. Period: 98.30 min. Summary: Commercial / civilian high resolution (1 metre resolution) photograhic satellite..

2006 June 25 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta IV Medium+ (4.2). LV Configuration: Delta 4M+(4,2) D4-6 (317) 4240.
  • USA 184 - . Payload: NRO L-22. Mass: 4,500 kg (9,900 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO. Class: Military. Type: Electronic intelligence satellite. Spacecraft: Jumpseat-2. USAF Sat Cat: 29249 . COSPAR: 2006-027A. Secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. The intended orbit was thought to be a "Molniya" elliptical 12-hour orbit with an inclination of 63 degrees. American data relay and signals intelligence satellites have used this orbit in the past, notably the Jumpseat series of 1971-1983. A secondary payload was later confirmed to be the first SBIRS-HEO (Space-based Infrared System) sensor. SBIRS was the successor to the DSP (Defence Support Program), which provided early warning of missile launches. Also carried the NASA/Los Alamos TWINS-A magnetospheric research payload

2006 November 4 - . 13:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta IV Medium. LV Configuration: Delta 4M D4-7 (320) 4040.
  • DMSP-Block-5D3-F17 - . Mass: 1,154 kg (2,544 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-3. USAF Sat Cat: 29522 . COSPAR: 2006-050A. Apogee: 855 km (531 mi). Perigee: 841 km (522 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 101.90 min. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellite with the Operational Linescan System camera, a microwave imager-sounder, ultraviolet spectrometers, particle detectors, a magnetometer, and a laser threat warning sensor. Reportedly went for a time into safe mode due to software problems after launch. The booster upper stage was conducted a maneuver to deorbit itself after placing the satellite in orbit. After the burn an explosion evidently occurred aboard the stage - dozens of objects were tracked in various orbits with perigees down to 670 km and apogees up to 851 km.

2011 January 20 - . 21:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta IV Heavy.
  • USA 224 - . Payload: NROL-49. Nation: USA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Improved Crystal. USAF Sat Cat: 37348 . COSPAR: 2011-002A. Summary: National Reconnaissance Office satellite placed into 252 km x 1023 km x 97.9 deg polar orbit, consistent with reports that it is was an Improved CRYSTAL type (KH-11 derivative) imaging reconnaissance satellite..

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