Launch Complex 39B
Kennedy LC-39B, June 2019.jpg
Aerial view in June 2019, with Mobile Launcher-1 on the pad for testing
Launch siteKennedy Space Center
LocationMerritt Island, Florida
Coordinates28°37′37.82″N 80°37′15.24″W / 28.6271722°N 80.6209000°W / 28.6271722; -80.6209000Coordinates: 28°37′37.82″N 80°37′15.24″W / 28.6271722°N 80.6209000°W / 28.6271722; -80.6209000
OperatorNASA
Orbital inclination
range
28–62°
Launch history
StatusActive
Launches57
First launchMay 18, 1969 (1969-05-18)
Saturn V SA-505
Last launchOctober 28, 2009 (2009-10-28)
Prototype Ares I
Associated
rockets

Launch Complex 39B is the second of Launch Complex 39's two launch pads, located at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida. The pad, along with Launch Complex 39A, were first designed for the Saturn V launch vehicle, which at the time was the United States' most powerful rocket. Typically used to launch NASA's crewed spaceflight missions since the late 1960s, the pad is currently being reconfigured for use by the agency's Space Launch System rocket, a Shuttle-derived launch vehicle which will be used in the Artemis program and subsequent Moon to Mars campaigns. The pad has also been leased for use by NASA to aerospace company Northrup Grumman, for use as a launch site for their Shuttle-derived OmegA launch vehicle, for National Security Space Launch flights and commercial launches.

Launch Complex 39B's inaugural launch in May 1969 was also that of the only Saturn V to launch from the pad; SA-505, used to launch the Apollo 10 mission. It eventually saw more use as the pad for all three Saturn IB launches of the Skylab program in the 1970s. With the advent of the Space Shuttle program in the early 1980s, pad 39A hosted all Space Shuttle launches until January 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger would become the first to launch from pad 39B during the ill-fated STS-51-L mission, which would end with the destruction of Challenger and the death of the mission's crew a minute into the flight. The program would restart in October 1988 with the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery from pad 39B during the STS-26 mission, with six subsequent missions launching from pad 39B. It would host 53 Space Shuttle launches until December 2006, when Discovery launched from the pad for the final time during the STS-116 mission; the program's remaining flights would all launch from pad 39A. Launch Complex 39B would subsequently be reconfigured for crewed Ares I launches as part of the Constellation program; the Ares I-X mission launched a prototype Ares I from 39B in October 2009, prior to the program's cancellation the following year. Since then, no launches from pad 39B have occurred.

Launches

List

No. Date Launch vehicle Serial Mission Primary payload Ref.
1 May 18, 1969, 16:49 UTC Saturn V SA-505 Apollo 10 [1][2][3]
2 May 25, 1973, 13:00 UTC Saturn IB SA-206 Skylab 2 Apollo CSM-116
3 July 28, 1973, 11:10 UTC Saturn IB SA-207 Skylab 3 Apollo CSM-117
4 November 16, 1973, 14:01 UTC Saturn IB SA-208 Skylab 4 Apollo CSM-118
5 January 28, 1986, 16:38 UTC Space Shuttle OV-099 Challenger STS-51-L
6 September 29, 1988, 15:37 UTC Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-26 TDRS-C
7 December 2, 1988, 14:30 UTC Space Shuttle OV-104 Atlantis STS-27 Lacrosse 1 [4]
8 March 13, 1989, 14:57 UTC Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-29 TDRS-D
9 May 4, 1989, 18:46 UTC Space Shuttle OV-105 Atlantis STS-30 Magellan
10 August 8, 1989, 12:37 UTC Space Shuttle OV-102 Columbia STS-28
11 October 18, 1989, 16:53 UTC Space Shuttle OV-104 Atlantis STS-34 Galileo
12 November 22, 1989, 24:23 UTC Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-33 USA-48
13 April 24, 1990, 12:33 UTC Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-31 Hubble
14 October 6, 1990, 11:47 UTC Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-41 Ulysses
15 December 2, 1990, 06:49 UTC Space Shuttle OV-102 Columbia STS-35 ASTRO-1
16 April 5, 1991, 14:22 UTC Space Shuttle OV-104 Atlantis STS-37 Compton
17 June 5, 1991, 13:24 UTC Space Shuttle OV-102 Columbia STS-40 Spacelab LM1
18 May 7, 1992, 23:40 UTC Space Shuttle OV-105 Endeavour STS-49 Orbus-21S for Intelsat 603
19 July 31, 1992, 13:56 UTC Space Shuttle OV-104 Atlantis STS-46
20 September 12, 1992, 14:23 UTC Space Shuttle OV-105 Endeavour STS-47 Spacelab LM2
21 October 22, 1992, 17:09 UTC Space Shuttle OV-102 Columbia STS-52 LAGEOS II
22 January 13, 1993, 13:59 UTC Space Shuttle OV-105 Endeavour STS-54 TDRS-F
23 April 8, 1993, 05:29 UTC Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-57 Spacehab SM
24 September 12, 1993, 11:45 UTC Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-51
25 October 18, 1993, 14:53 UTC Space Shuttle OV-102 Columbia STS-58 Spacelab LM2
26 December 2, 1993, 09:27 UTC Space Shuttle OV-105 Endeavour STS-61 Servicing platform for Hubble
27 March 4, 1994, 13:53 UTC Space Shuttle OV-102 Columbia STS-62
28 September 9, 1994, 22:22 UTC Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-64 SPARTAN-201
29 November 3, 1994, 16:59 UTC Space Shuttle OV-104 Atlantis STS-66 Spacelab Igloo
30 February 3, 1995, 05:22 UTC Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-63 Spacehab SM
31 July 13, 1995, 13:41 UTC Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-70 TDRS-G
32 October 20, 1995, 13:53 UTC Space Shuttle OV-102 Columbia STS-73 Spacelab LM1
33 January 11, 1996, 09:41 UTC Space Shuttle OV-105 Endeavour STS-72 OAST-Flyer
34 February 22, 1996, 20:18 UTC Space Shuttle OV-102 Columbia STS-75
  • Spacelab MPESS
  • TSS-1R
35 March 22, 1996, 08:13 UTC Space Shuttle OV-104 Atlantis STS-76 Spacehab SM
36 May 19, 1996, 10:30 UTC Space Shuttle OV-105 Endeavour STS-77 Spacehab SM
37 June 20, 1996, 14:49 UTC Space Shuttle OV-102 Columbia STS-78 Spacelab LM2
38 November 19, 1996, 19:55 UTC Space Shuttle OV-102 Columbia STS-80 Wake Shield Facility
39 January 12, 1997, 09:27 UTC Space Shuttle OV-104 Atlantis STS-81 Spacehab LDM
40 November 19, 1997, 19:46 UTC Space Shuttle OV-102 Columbia STS-87 Spacelab MPESS
41 April 17, 1998, 18:19 UTC Space Shuttle OV-102 Columbia STS-90 Spacelab LM2
42 October 29, 1998, 19:19 UTC Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-95 Spacehab SM
43 May 27, 1999, 10:49 UTC Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-96
  • Spacehab ICC
  • Spacehab LDM
44 July 23, 1999, 04:31 UTC Space Shuttle OV-102 Columbia STS-93 Chandra
45 December 19, 1999, 24:50 Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-103 Servicing platform for Hubble
46 September 8, 2000, 12:45 UTC Space Shuttle OV-104 Atlantis STS-106
  • Spacehab ICC
  • Spacehab LDM
47 November 30, 2000, 03:06 UTC Space Shuttle OV-105 Endeavour STS-97 P6 truss
48 March 8, 2001, 11:42 UTC Space Shuttle OV-105 Endeavour STS-102
49 July 12, 2001, 09:03 UTC Space Shuttle OV-104 Atlantis STS-104 Quest
50 December 5, 2001, 22:19 UTC Space Shuttle OV-105 Endeavour STS-108 MPLM Raffaello
51 April 8, 2002, 20:44 UTC Space Shuttle OV-104 Atlantis STS-110 S0 truss
52 October 7, 2002, 19:45 UTC Space Shuttle OV-104 Atlantis STS-112 S1 truss
53 July 26, 2005, 14:39 UTC Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-114
  • ESP-2
  • MPLM Raffaello
54 July 4, 2006, 18:37 UTC Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-121
  • MPLM Leonardo
  • Spacehab ICC
55 September 9, 2006, 15:14 UTC Space Shuttle OV-104 Atlantis STS-115 P3/P4 truss
56 December 9, 2006, 24:47 UTC Space Shuttle OV-103 Discovery STS-116
57 October 28, 2009, 15:30 UTC Ares I none Ares I-X
58 Q2 2021 OmegA unknown unknown NationSat [5][6][7]
59 November 2021 SLS Block 1 unknown Artemis 1 Orion 002
60 2023 SLS Block 1 unknown Artemis 2 Orion 003
61 2024 SLS Block 1B unknown Artemis 3 Orion 004

Timeline

1
2
3
4
5
6
1969
'73
1975
1980
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
2009

See also

References

Sources

  1. Ward, Jonathan H. (2015). Countdown to a Moon Launch: Preparing Apollo for Its Historic Journey. Greensboro, North Carolina: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-17792-2. ISBN 978-3-319-17792-2. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  2. Bergin, Chris (May 30, 2017). "KSC's historic Pad 39B laying the foundations for hosting big rockets". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on May 20, 2020. Retrieved May 20, 2020.

Citations

  1. ^ Bergin 2017, "The first launch from 39B was Apollo 10 on May 18, 1969. It also was the first real use of the pad’s water deluge system, used to cool the flame deflector in the flame trench after rocket ignition."
  2. ^ Ward 2015, page 386, "Mission Apollo 10/AS-505; Launch pad LC-39B; Launch time 1969-May-18 16:49:00 UTC; First launch from LC-39B and only Saturn V launch from this pad."
  3. ^ "Apollo 10: Dress rehearsal for the Moon landing". The Planetary Society. May 2019. Archived from the original on May 20, 2020. Retrieved May 20, 2020. The mission began on 18 May 1969 with the first and only Saturn V launch from Kennedy Space Center's pad 39B, as preparations were already underway at pad 39A to launch Apollo 11 in 2 months.
  4. ^ "Lacrosse 1 (NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1988-106B)". NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020. USA 34 [...] Lacrosse 1 was a side-looking radar, all weather surveillance satellite launched from the shuttle mission STS-27 for the US National Reconnaisance Office and the CIA.
  5. ^ Brinkmann, Paul (April 27, 2020). "Northrop says it's on schedule with next-generation OmegA rocket". United Press International. Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020. Development of the rocket must continue if Northrop is going to make a spring 2021 launch date for the rocket's first mission. [...] Colorado-based Saturn Satellite Networks selected the OmegA to launch up to two satellites on the rocket's inaugural flight from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39B, Northrop announced in December.
  6. ^ Gebhardt, Chris (April 3, 2020). "Northrop Grumman making good progress toward OmegA's first launch". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020. These 30 days of activities will involve [...] stacking of the rocket on the mobile launcher inside High Bay 2 of the Vehicle Assembly Building, functional and integrated checkouts of the rocket, and then rollout to launch pad 39B.
  7. ^ Erwin, Sandra; Foust, Jeff (December 12, 2019). "Saturn Satellite Networks to be first customer of Northrop Grumman's OmegA". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020. Northrop said Saturn will fly one or two of its NationSat small geostationary satellites on an OmegA rocket launching from the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39B in the spring of 2021.

External links