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Complex 41 / LC-41

Now known as SLC-40 and SLC-41, these complexes were built as part of an Integrate-Transfer-Launch (ITL) facility and are located at the north end of CCAS. The primary facilities in the ITL area include the Vertical Integration Build (VIB) (where the core vehicles and payloads are assembled); the Solid Motor Assembly Building (SMAB) (where the solid motors are built up from their individual segments); the Solid Motor Assembly and Readiness Facility (SMARF) (where the core vehicles and the solids are mated); and the pad's themselves. When these facilities were initially constructed in the early 60's, they supported the TITAN IIIC vehicle. Since that time, and with required upgrades, they supported the TITAN 34D and TITAN IV.

NASA and the Department of Defense signed an agreement in January 1963 which acknowledged the Air Force's jurisdiction over all TITAN III construction at the north end of Cape Canaveral. Though TITAN Complex 41 extended across the Cape Canaveral boundary into NASA's territory on Merritt Island, all property within Complex 41's security fence and along the access road to the site was considered part of the Air Force's Titan III program. Put simply, NASA had jurisdiction over the Merritt Island Launch Area, the SATURN program and SATURN facilities on Merritt Island and Cape Canaveral. The Air Force had jurisdiction over Cape Canaveral, the TITAN III program and all TITAN III facilities, including Complex 41.

Following the first TITAN IIIC launch from LC-40 in June 1965, the Martin Company and its sub-contractors were hard at work on Complex 41 to prepare that facility for its first TITAN IIIC launch in December. Complex 41 was accepted by the Air Force on 15 December 1965, and the first TITAN IIIC lifted off Pad 41 on December 21st. The flight met most of its test objectives, including the successful release of the LES-3 and LES-4 communications satellites and the OSCAR IV (amateur radio) satellite. Two more TITAN IIIC missions were launched from Complex 41 on 16 June and 26 August 1966.

Since the Air Force intended to use Complex 40 for its Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) flights, Complex 41 eventually supported all the TITAN IIIC missions launched from the Cape between the beginning of 1967 and the end of the decade.

Complex 41 supported only a handful of TITAN III missions before it was deactivated at the end of 1977.

Complex 41 was used for a VIKING simulator mission and a HELIOS solar mission in 1974, two VIKING missions to Mars in 1975, another HELIOS mission in 1976 and two VOYAGER missions to the outer planets in 1977. The 1975 TITAN IIIE/CENTAUR launch series comprising the VIKING missions to Mars and, in 1977, the VOYAGER missions to the outer planets.

Deactivated from 1977 to 1986, pad 41 was refurbished and upgraded to support the Titan IV program. Complex 41 was refurbished for the TITAN IV program during the last half of the 1980s, but its first TITAN IV launch did not take place until 14 June 1989 -- almost 12 years after it was used to launch the VOYAGER missions to the outer planets.

Pad 41 was selected as the site for the Lockheed Martin proposed EELV Atlas common core vehicle configuration. The Titan launch tower at LC-41 was torn down and replaced with launch facilities for the Atlas V.

The ATLAS V program achieved a major milestone at Cape Canaveral on 24 October 1998 when the U.S. Government granted Lockheed Martin its Right of Entry (ROE) to Complex 41. In support of the overall effort, the 3rd Space Launch Squadron and 45th Civil Engineer Squadron worked with ten separate contractors and representatives from Air Force Space Command, Air Force Materiel Command, and the National Reconnaissance Office to complete Complex 41's deactivation.

As part of the deactivation process, technicians flushed all fuel lines on the complex, and workers shipped out approximately 20 train carloads of soil for sanitizing and reuse. On 14 October 1999, the Olshan Demolishing Company used 180 pounds of explosives to topple the site's old TITAN IV Mobile Service Tower (MST) and Umbilical Tower (UT). Workers gleaned about $2.5 million worth of salvage from the complex before the event, and they removed approximately 8 million pounds of steel following the demolition. In all, 72 days were required to completely decommission the site's hypergolic propellant systems. Officials deactivated the complex 42 days ahead of schedule.

With a workforce of nearly 500, Lockheed Martin and its assistant contractor, Hensel Phelps, completed facility modifications for the ATLAS V in the spring of 2001. On the Vehicle Integration Facility (VIF) site 1,800 feet south of Complex 41, workers poured more than 1,500 cubic yards of concrete on 27 March 1999 to create the VIF slab. By the end of 1999, construction reached the 250-foot level of the 292-foot VIF structure. Construction was also underway on the Entry Control Building (ECB) and the HVAC (Air-conditioning and Humidity Control) Shelter, just south of the VIF. Workers "topped off" the VIF in early March 2000, and they started building the new Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) south of the VIF during the summer of 2000.

As its name implied, the VIF was used to stack and integrate the ATLAS V on the Mobile Launch Platform. In accordance with Lockheed Martin's new steamlined procedures, VIF operations began about nine days before workers rolled the vehicle out to the pad. The ATLAS V was ready to go when it departed the VIF, and the vehicle could be launched a mere 12 hours later. Since most of the ATLAS V Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) resided in the VIF and the ATLAS V Spaceflight Operations Center, very little ground equipment was exposed to blast damage in the event of a launch mishap or accident on the pad. The new design promoted safety, efficiency, and flexibility.

Work was underway in 2000 to renovate the Missile Inert Storage (MIS) Building to accommodate the ATLAS V Launch Control Center (LCC) and Mission Director's Center (MDC). Upon completion, company officials renamed the MIS the ATLAS V Spaceflight Operations Center (ASOC). Workers delivered and installed a 42,000-gallon liquid hydrogen tank and two 45,000-gallon stainless steel RP-1 fuel tanks in the fall of 2000. A 465,000-gallon liquid oxygen spherical tank was in place before the end of the year.

The four-story-tall ASOC was located four miles from the launch pad. It replaced 13 old ATLAS facilities, and it gathered customer support, vehicle checkout, and launch control operations under one roof. The ASOC included a two-story amphitheater, a Mission Operations Center, a two-story launch control center, and various management/engineering support rooms. With 30,000 square feet of floor space, the ASOC could process up to six ATLAS Vs at a time. Since most checkout operations would be completed at Lockheed Martin's Denver plant before the ATLAS V was shipped, checkout at the ASOC might require as little as one day of work for each vehicle.

By the time the first ATLAS V arrived in early June 2001, Complex 41 was ready to begin pathfinder operations. Unlike Boeing, Lockheed Martin decided to use its first Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (designated AV-001) as both a pathfinder and a launch vehicle. The first ATLAS V booster and upper stage arrived at the Cape during the first week of June 2001. After several weeks of booster and facility tests in the ASOC, technicians moved the ATLAS V to the VIF in October 2001. They stacked the vehicle on the Mobile Launch Platform, and they added a payload simulator to the vehicle in early November 2001.

Following additional facility tests in the VIF, workers destacked the ATLAS V and returned it to the ASOC for final horizontal checkout and avionics installation in December 2001. Technicians erected AV-001 again on 22 February 2002 and the operational AV-001 was rolled out to Complex 41 on 6 and 7 March 2002.

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Page last modified: 20-07-2011 23:26:09 ZULU