What We Do


The California Spaceport® Site - The picture above depicts the Spaceport site as viewed from the south looking toward Space Launch Complex 6 (SLC-6).

The Spaceport includes two distinct components:

  1. Bullet   IPF

  2. The California Spaceport®  Integrated Processing Facility - Processing Commercial, NASA and Air Force payloads since 1994.

  3. The IPF has been extensively upgraded to maintain and enhance its status as a world class processing facility.

  1. Bullet   SLC-8

  2. SLC-8 - The California Spaceport® Commercial Launch Facility - Located 2000 feet to the southwest of the IPF, the CLF construction was completed May 1, 1999 and designated as Space Launch Complex 8 (SLC-8).  The Launch Duct is a massive reinforced concrete structure sized to accommodate boosters up through Delta II class. The CLF can accommodate a wide variety of launch vehicles including MMII, Minotaur, Taurus and Castor 120 based vehicles, up to Delta II class.  Construction of the Mobile Access Tower (MAT) was completed in October 2004 and was upgraded to accommodate the Minotaur IV launch vehicle in 2007.  The MAT is a 82.5' tall structure which provides environmental protection to the launch vehicle and personnel.  Moveable platforms provide access to booster sections and the payload during processing operations.

Benefits to Commercial Industry

By offering a multiple use commercial alternative, The California Spaceport® offers a number of benefits to commercial users:

  1. Accessible, responsive, cost effective, reliable launch services within the continental United States

  2. Support for a wide range of commercial users

  3. Proven processing operations using facilities leased from the government

  4. Full booster / payload processing, integration and encapsulation within a single facility

  5. On-site launch control services improving operability, responsiveness, dependability and maintainability

  6. Encourages both one-time and campaign use by providing launch support services on an as-needed basis

  7. Leveraged tax dollars through reuse / dual use of Government facilities

Benefits to Government

  1. Quality commercial launch and processing services

  2. Outstanding example of federal facility dual-use

  3. Expands Vandenberg Air Force Base business base

  4. Extends Western Range utilization rate

  5. Proven processing operations using facilities leased from the government

  6. Direct industry investment in Spaceport facilities and operations

  7. Reduced environmental permitting requirements for DOD booster and satellite programs


Launch Azimuths

Spaceport Launch Azimuths - The California Spaceport® is ideally positioned to provide direct injection into a broad range of popular orbital inclinations. This image illustrates the initial launch azimuth limits approved for the Spaceport. Most launch azimuths will range from 168 - 220 degrees with no over-flight of populated areas. Launches between 150 - 270 degrees are feasible. Our easily accessible location offers a moderate climate for year-round polar launches for:

  1. Low Earth Orbit (LEO)

  2. Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)

  3. Sun-Synchronous

Meteorological Conditions

This Link provides real-time data from SSI’s weather station located just west of the IPF. SSI Weatherbug

This link provides data on the weather history at Vandenberg AFB as measured from Point Arguello, CA

(34.58 N 120.65 W) or (34°34'36" N 120°38'54" W). The Vandenberg Weather History site provides both current year data and data back to 1984.

Of particular interest are the wind speed, peak wind and gust data.

The California Spaceport® is a commercially operated complex on Vandenberg Air Force Base. The California Spaceport® provides commercial payload processing and launch alternatives to cost conscious customers with either polar or ballistic space launch programs. This state-of-the-art facility is designed for simultaneous use by multiple customers intent on reducing costs. By spreading O&M costs over a large and diverse customer base, Spaceport Systems International L.P. (SSI) offers an economical commercial alternative to existing single use, government subsidized options.

We are the first federally licensed private "Commercial Space Launch Site Operator" in the United States. SSI holds Launch Site Operator's License LSO-96-001 issued by the Office of Commercial Space Transportation on September 19, 1996.

Welcome      About SSI      What We Do      Our Location      Facilities Overview      Processing History      Documents      Links

Send mail to webmaster with questions or comments about this web site.

Copyright © 1999 Spaceport Systems International, L.P.