Spaceport Florida Launch Complex 46
|Launch site||CCAFS (1987-1997)|
Spaceport Florida (1997—)
|Operator||US Air Force|
SLC-46 was originally used for tests of the Trident II missile between 1987 and 1989. Following the completion of the Trident's land-based tests, the complex was deactivated.
In 1997, Space Florida began operations at the site, and was opened for commercial space operations. Lockheed Martin launched an Athena II and an Athena I from the pad in 1998 and 1999 respectively. The Athena II, launched January 7, 1998, carried the Lunar Prospector spacecraft which orbited the Moon. On January 27, 1999, the Athena I lifted off with Taiwan's first satellite, ROCSAT-1, carrying experimental communications, ocean imagery, and ionospheric studies instruments.
In March 2010, the USAF 45th Space Wing issued Real Property Licenses to Space Florida for Launch Complexes 36 and 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. On July 1, 2010, the Federal Aviation Administration approved a Launch Site Operator's License for commercial launches at Launch Complex 46.
On September 24, 2010, the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast was awarded a $500,000 Defense Infrastructure Grant from the State of Florida to be used for critical communications upgrades at SLC-46. In early 2014, Space Florida contracted with Alliant Techsystems (ATK) to begin phase three of the communications infrastructure refurbishment, with completion expected to take one year.
As of February 2014[update], NASA plans to launch the Orion Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle Ascent Abort 2 test flight (AA‑2) from SLC-46 in 2018.
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