Complex 41 was constructed starting in 1963 in support of the Titan IIIC program. The first launch took place on December 21, 1965, with a Titan IIIC carrying a U.S. Air Force OV2 satellite (for solar research). Although the launch was a success, the transtage failed and placed the OV2 in an incorrect orbit. Complex 41 went on to support a variety of military and civilian launches, including NASA's Viking and Voyager missions.
Complex 41 was deactivated in 1977, then refurbished between 1986 and 1988 to support Titan IV. The first Titan IV launch (carrying a classified payload) took place from Complex 41 on June 14, 1989. In late 1997, Complex 41 assisted in setting a new record: between October 15 and November 7 (just 23 days), three Titan IVs were launched (the first two from Complex 40 and Vandenberg, respectively, and the last from Complex 41).
Just two years later, on October 14, 1999, officials
from Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force detonated explosive charges that
brought both the MST and UT. This was done as part of a $300 million
reconstruction of the Complex to support Lockheed Martin's Atlas V launch
vehicle. The new Complex 41 saw its first launch with the maiden flight of the
Atlas V on August 21, 2002.
Photo Copyright © 1999
Joe Marino/Aerospace Reports Photographic Services.
Joe is a staff photographer for the National Space Society.
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