CLF / SLC-8 Overview


CLF / SLC-8 Overview      Launch Azimuth      Pad Deck      Launch Mount and Duct

Transporter Pads      SEB      LEV      MAT      Supporting Towers      SLC-8 Comm

The Commercial Launch Facility (CLF) also known by the Vandenberg AFB designation “Space Launch Complex 8” (SLC-8) is located 1/2 mile South of the ULA operated SLC-6 and the SSI operated IPF.  This location provides excellent performance for polar launches and provided a wide array of launch azimuth possibilities. SLC-8 is the first commercial launch site to be granted a license from the FAA and the first to become operational in 1999. To date, SLC-8 is the only 100% commercially operated launch site in the United States. receiving no Federal or State taxpayer funds to operate.

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Copyright © 1999 Spaceport Systems International, L.P.

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The CLF design concept centers on a "building block" approach to facility construction. Construction of the CLF was completed in May 1999.  The current configuration of the CLF consists of the following systems: Pad Deck, Mobile Access Tower (MAT), Support Equipment Building (SEB), Launch Equipment Vault (LEV), Launch Duct and Stand and Communications. Administrative Areas (trailers) are located just outside the complex gate. Power and communications cabling is routed underground to provide a "flat pad" with the flexibility to accommodate a variety of launch systems.

The SLC-8 Launch Control Room (LCR) is located 22 miles North of the Pad, in a Government maintained facility (Bldg. 8510). All launch critical circuits and a wide variety of customer requested data and communications circuits have been installed between SLC-8 and the LCR.

SLC-8 has been constructed to provide a clean pad approach that is highly flexible, with a capability to accommodate multiple launch vehicle configurations.  Currently the CLF is configured to support solid propellant vehicles but liquid propellant vehicles are possible with some pad modifications.   The primary feature that provides this flexibility is the launch pad and flame duct.  SLC-8 has successfully accommodated launch vehicles based on the following boosters; MMII, Minotaur IV and Castor 120 based vehicles. Customized booster transporter pads have been developed to accommodate stacking of the various boosters.