Encyclopedia Astronautica
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Vandenberg LC-A
Part of Vandenberg Family
Scout, Javelin, Honest John, Black Brant, Astrobee, Asp, Seagull, Journeyman, Dac Roc launch complex. Launch Complex A, Naval Missile Facility, Point Arguello

First Launch: 1959-07-14. Last Launch: 1966-03-25. Number: 39 . Longitude: -120.5922 deg. Latitude: 34.6791 deg.

Launch Vehicles: Nike Asp, HJ Nike Nike, Journeyman, Blue Scout Jr, Astrobee 1500, Blue Scout Jr SLV-1C, Black Brant III, Blue Scout Jr SLV-1B(m), Nike Javelin, Dac Roc, Seagull. Launch Sites: Vandenberg.



1959 July 14 - . 17:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Solar x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1959 July 17 - . 17:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1959 July 24 - . 16:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 227 km (141 mi).

1959 August 7 - . 17:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Solar x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 225 km (139 mi).

1959 August 14 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Solar x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 237 km (147 mi).

1959 August 22 - . 02:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1959 August 24 - . 22:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1959 August 28 - . 16:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Solar x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 214 km (132 mi).

1959 August 31 - . 22:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Sunflare II Solar x-ray / solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1959 September 1 - . 01:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1959 September 1 - . 19:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Ionosphere / plasma / solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 210 km (130 mi).

1959 September 2 - . 00:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1960 September 19 - . 16:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Journeyman. Launch Vehicle: Journeyman.
  • NERV I Cosmic rays mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,884 km (1,170 mi).

1961 August 1 - . 20:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee 1500. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test / geodetic mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1961 November 15 - . 13:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Journeyman. Launch Vehicle: Journeyman.
  • BIOS I Biological mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,057 km (656 mi).

1961 November 18 - . 13:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Journeyman. Launch Vehicle: Journeyman.
  • BIOS I Biological mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,057 km (656 mi).

1961 December 4 - . 04:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr.
  • Magnetosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 44,400 km (27,500 mi).

1961 December 8 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee 1500.
  • Project CAMBRIDGE Geodetic mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 2,190 km (1,360 mi).

1962 May 31 - . 17:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr SLV-1C.
  • ERCS/279L 1 Communications mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 830 km (510 mi).

1962 July 9 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Journeyman. Launch Vehicle: Journeyman.
  • Magnetosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AEC. Apogee: 1,500 km (900 mi).

1962 July 24 - . 17:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr SLV-1C.
  • ERCS / 279L 2 Communications mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1962 November 21 - . 18:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr SLV-1C.
  • ERCS / 279L 3 Communications mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1962 December 19 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr SLV-1B(m).
  • Ion Engine Test A Technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 2,000 km (1,200 mi).

    When the high-voltage power supplies were first turned-on, intermittent high-voltage breakdowns occurred, and the beam power supply became inoperative. Post-flight examination of the power supply indicated the high-voltage breakdowns were probably caused by pressure buildup in the primary propulsion unit due to gas vented from the spacecraft batteries. The primary propulsion unit high voltage section was not adequately vented to keep the pressure low enough. Engine thrusting was not accomplished in this test.


1963 February 2 - . 06:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr SLV-1C.
  • ERCS 279L Communications mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1963 February 12 - . 01:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Journeyman. Launch Vehicle: Journeyman.
  • Electron Spectrometer Magnetospheric mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,675 km (1,040 mi).

1963 March 14 - . 01:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr SLV-1C.
  • ERCS 279L Communications mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1963 May 17 - . 23:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr SLV-1C.
  • ERCS 279L Communications mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1963 July 1 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant III.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1963 October 24 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Dac Roc. Launch Vehicle: DAC Roc.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1963 November 7 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant III.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 116 km (72 mi).

1963 November 18 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike Nike.
  • LRL HAD-1 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 163 km (101 mi).

1963 December 10 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Dac Roc. Launch Vehicle: DAC Roc.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1963 December 20 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Seagull. Launch Vehicle: Seagull.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1964 February 6 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike Nike. FAILURE: Failure.
  • LRL HAD-2 Solar x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 5.00 km (3.10 mi).

1964 March 14 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike Nike.
  • LRL HAD-3 Solar x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 143 km (88 mi).

1964 August 29 - . 09:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr SLV-1B(m).
  • Ion Engine Test B Technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 2,000 km (1,200 mi).

    The first successful ballistic flight test of a cesium ion contact engine was conducted on a Scout booster launched from Vandenberg. Built by Electro-Optical Systems Corporation under an Air Force contract, the engine was the first of its kind to operate in space. The launch was designed to provide about 30 minutes of flight above an altitude of 370 km. At seven minutes into the flight the engine was operated with ion beam extraction. Full beam current of 94 mA was achieved about 10 minutes later. During the course of engine operation, an electric field strength meter was used to infer payload floating potential relative to space. Spacecraft potential was about 1000 V negative during most of the engine operation with the filament neutralizer. The absolute value of payload potential was about ten times higher than anticipated, and it was suspected that there was inadequate neutralization of the ion beam. The contact ion engine operated for 19 minutes until spacecraft reentry into the atmosphere. In addition to withstanding the environmental rigors of space flight, the ion propulsion system demonstrated electromagnetic compatibility with other spacecraft subsystems and the ability to regulate and control a desired thrust level.


1964 December 22 - . 04:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr SLV-1B(m). FAILURE: Third stage cut off early.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Ion Engine Test C Technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

    In this test, an additional wire neutralizer was incorporated and was immersed in the ion beam to provide a higher probability of adequate neutralization. The contact ion engine only achieved about 20% of full-thrust before reentry into the atmosphere. The short test time was due to a very short burn of the Scout vehicle's third stage. The high voltage was applied to the engine 7 minutes into the flight when the altitude was 490 km. Engine operation ended after 4 minutes when the altitude was only 80 km.


1966 March 19 - . 12:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Javelin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Javelin.
  • HITAB 1 Technology test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

1966 March 25 - . 09:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. LV Family: Javelin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Javelin.
  • HITAB Technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).


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