Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
The Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS) (in English: Cape Canaveral Space Force Station) is a rocket launching base on the east coast of the United States, owned by the United States Department of Defense. Located in Cape Canaveral, Florida, it reports to Patrick Air Force Base. CCSFS is adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral is currently used for NASA rocket launches.
The station was designated on April 16, 1984, a district on the National Register of Historic Places as well as, on the same date, a National Historic Landmark.
The area currently occupied by the CCAFS had been used by the government since 1949 when President Harry S. Truman approved this area to be used for missile testing. The location was ideal for this purpose as it enabled launches directed to the Atlantic Ocean, and it was the part of the national territory closest to the equator (the closer to the equator a rocket is launched, the more it can take advantage of the initial linear velocity resulting from the rotation of the Earth).
In 1951 the United States Air Force created the Air Force Missile Test Center
nearby the Banana River Naval Air Station. In 1956 the first sub-orbital rocket launches were started at Cape Canaveral. Shortly after the launch of Sputnik by the USSR on December 6, 1957, NASA was founded in 1958. The Air Force was in charge of making the rocket launches for NASA from CCAFS. Rockets such as Redstone, Jupiter, Pershing, Polaris, Thor, Atlas, Titan and Minuteman were all tested on the CCAFS and the Thor rocket was chosen as the base for an Expandable Launch Vehicle (ELV), the Delta rocket, which was used to launch the Telstar 1 satellite in July 1962. Several launch pads—called "Lauch Complex" ("Lauch Complex" in English; LC)—were built along the coast for the Titan rockets (LC-15, LC-16, LC-19 and LC-20 platforms) and Atlas (LC-11, LC-12, LC-13, LC-14 platforms). NASA's first spaceflights, Mercury and Gemini, were prepared for launch from the LC-5, LC-14 and LC-19 launch pads on the CCAFS by Air Force technicians.
In 1963, the facility's name changed to Cape Kennedy Air Force Station, after the geographic area changed from Cape Canaveral to Cape Kennedy, both names reverted to Canaveral in 1973. The Air Force decided to expand the capacity of Titan launch vehicles to that could carry larger loads. The LC-40 and LC-41 launch complexes were built to launch the Titan III and Titan IV rockets south of the John F. Kennedy Space Center. A Titan III rocket had about the same capacity as the Saturn IB rocket, but at a considerably lower cost. The LC-40 and LC-41 launch complexes have been used for launching military reconnaissance satellites (spy satellites), communications and meteorological satellites, as well as NASA space missions. The Air Force even planned to launch two space projects, starting from the LC-40 and LC-41 complexes. One was an orbital rocket plane project, canceled in 1963, and the other was a military reconnaissance space station, canceled in 1969.
In the 1974-1977 period the mighty Titan-Centaur rocket became NASA's new heavy-duty launch vehicle, placing the Viking and Voyager probes into orbit from the LC-41 launch complex. Shortly thereafter, the LC-41 became the launch pad for the most powerful rocket in the United States, the Titan IV, developed by the Air Force.
The LC-37 and LC-41 launch complexes were modified and adapted for launching the Delta IV and Atlas V launch vehicles, respectively. these new