This is Complex 46, the easternmost launch site at Cape Canaveral, and one of the few active launch sites remaining. The white tower toward the right side of the launch pad is the Mobile Access Structure (MAS), and is used to service vehicles prior to launch. Visible to the north are Complexes 1-4. Immediately north of that are the twin launch pads of Complex 36. The red gantry you see further north marks Complex 13.
This used to be the site of Complex 43, which launched thousands of sounding rockets between 1962 and 1984. In 1984, operations were moved to Complex 47 to allow construction of Complex 46 to support the Navy's Trident II missile efforts. The inaugural launch took place on January 15th of 1987. A total of nineteen Trident IIs were launched from the Complex up until 1989, when sea trials began.
In the mid-1990's, the Complex was redesigned to support
commercial launches. Spaceport Florida Authority (a space agency administered by
the state of Florida) opened the Complex in 1997, and the first launch took
place in 1998. The Complex now supports Lockheed Martin Athena I and Athena II
Photo Copyright © 1999
Joe Marino/Aerospace Reports Photographic Services.
Joe is a staff photographer for the National Space Society.
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