Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 31

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Launch Complex 31
Launch site Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Location 28°27′09″N 80°33′22″W / 28.45250°N 80.55611°W / 28.45250; -80.55611Coordinates: 28°27′09″N 80°33′22″W / 28.45250°N 80.55611°W / 28.45250; -80.55611
Short name LC-31
Operator US Air Force
Launch pad(s) 2 (incl. silo)
Launch history
Status Inactive
First launch February 1, 1960
Pershing 1a

Launch Complex 31 (LC-31) is a former launch complex at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

It was built in 1959 with LC-32 for the U.S. Air Force to conduct test launches of the first LGM-30 Minuteman missiles. LC-31 was built next to Navaho complex LC-9, requiring LC-10 to be demolished. These complexes were the first to feature dual launch pads, one of which was subterranean. LC-31 consisted of a blockhouse, static launch pad (31A) and missile silo (31B). The bee-hive-shaped blockhouse is 210 yards from the static pad and 330 yards from the silo.

The Air Force launched four Minuteman missiles from 31A; and 35 from the silo, 31B, between February 1, 1960 and September 23, 1969. Pad 31A was used later by the U.S. Army to test launch twelve Pershing 1a missiles.

Remains of Challenger lowered into silo at LC-31

The service tower has since been removed; the silo remains, and contains recovered debris from the Space Shuttle orbiter vehicle Challenger.[1][2]

2015 opening of the silo[edit]

In 2015, NASA opened the silo and removed several pieces of Challenger's debris, so they could be placed on permanent display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.[3]


External links[edit]