Horizontal integration facility


A horizontal integration facility (HIF) is an integration facility where missiles and rockets are assembled before launch.

HIF in the United States

Site Pad Vehicle HIF
Description Images Ref.
Cape Canaveral Space Force Station SLC-37 Delta IV 28°31′25″N 80°34′15″W / 28.5234928°N 80.5709624°W / 28.5234928; -80.5709624 A seven-story white building containing 2 bays measuring 250 feet (76 m) by 100 feet (30 m) each. Construction was completed in June 2000. Its floors are said to be the most level in the United States,[1] varying less than 0.38 in (9.6 mm) across each bay. The first and second stages of the rocket, along with any boosters that are being used for that flight, are integrated in the HIF, and then the stack is moved to the pad and raised to vertical. The payload and fairing are assembled later.
Delta first stages in front of the Horizontal Integration Facility at SLC-37.
Cape Canaveral Space Force Station SLC-40 Falcon 9 28°33′39″N 80°34′39″W / 28.5608909°N 80.577389°W / 28.5608909; -80.577389 SpaceX built its first Falcon 9 HIF on the south side of the pad. It measures 225 feet (69 m) long by 75 feet (23 m) wide and stands about 50 feet (15 m) tall. A former payload integration facility is directly adjacent to the HIF. The HIF was extended to a length of at least 72 metres accommodate the longer versions the falcon 9.
Falcon 9 in SLC-40 hangar before roll-out - CRS-2 (KSC-2013-1676)
Kennedy Space Center LC-39A Falcon 9 / Falcon Heavy 28°36′14″N 80°36′15″W / 28.604025°N 80.604120°W / 28.604025; -80.604120 SpaceX built its second HIF on the Crawlerway leading to the Launch Complex 39A just outside of its perimeter. It can accommodate both Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. It is able to support 5 boosters side by side. Inside the HIF the Falcon 9 / Falcon Heavy rockets are assembled and the payload, encapsulated in the fairing is connected to the rocket.
The HIF at LC-39A. The rocket is transported to the launch pad through the door seen in the image.
Kwajalein Atoll Omelek Island Falcon 1 9°02′50″N 167°44′34″E / 9.0473335°N 167.7427661°E / 9.0473335; 167.7427661 A HIF has been built by SpaceX. Exterior Interior [5]
Vandenberg Air Force Base SLC-6 Delta IV 34°35′11″N 120°37′39″W / 34.5864694°N 120.6276137°W / 34.5864694; -120.6276137 A "cavernous"[6] HIF exists. The HIF contains two bays that can accommodate the Delta IV and Delta IV Heavy. Exterior [6]
Wallops Flight Facility Antares 37°50′44″N 75°28′31″W / 37.8454606°N 75.4751515°W / 37.8454606; -75.4751515[7] HIF built by Orbital Sciences Corporation. The HIF is 250 feet (76 m) long by 150 feet (46 m) wide by 60 feet (18 m) tall.[8] It opened in 2011.
Antares roll-out from one of the two bays

HIF elsewhere

Most Russian, Ukrainian and former Soviet launchers are integrated horizontally, including Dnepr, Proton, Rockot, Shtil' and Soyuz. The Electron launch vehicle is also integrated horizontally and European Ariane 6 would also use HIF to integrate its rocket stack.


  1. ^ a b Heavy-lifting Delta 4 rocket to take test flight, Spaceflight Now, Justin Ray, 2003-11-19.
  2. ^ Complex 37, GlobalSecurity.org, John Pike, 2005-01-06.
  3. ^ Clark, Stephen (2009-01-12). "New SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket tests its Cape Canaveral pad". Spaceflight Now. Tonbridge, UK. Archived from the original on 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2015-01-28.
  4. ^ Space Launch Report: SpaceX Falcon Data Sheet, Ed Kyle, 2008-12-02.
  5. ^ Falcon 1 Users Guide (Revision 7) Archived 2012-02-22 at the Wayback Machine, SpaceX, 2008-05-15, page 35.
  6. ^ a b Launch Facility Profile: Vandenberg Air Force Base Archived 2012-05-16 at the Wayback Machine, The Aerospace Corporation, 2006-02-17.
  7. ^ Taurus II Development News, NASASpaceFlight.com Forums, Reply #7, Antonioe, 2009-01-09.
  8. ^ "Press Release: NASA Ushers In New Space Exploration Era At Wallops Flight Facility". NASA. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  9. ^ Development Status of a Medium-Class Launch Vehicle for ISS Cargo and Satellite Delivery Archived 2011-06-16 at the Wayback Machine, David Steffy, Orbital Sciences Corporation, 2008-07-15, page 9.