Vandenberg Probe Launch Complex C


Probe Launch Complex C
Launch siteVandenberg Space Force Base
Location34°36′34″N 120°37′42″W / 34.6095°N 120.6284°W / 34.6095; -120.6284
Short namePLC-C
OperatorUS Air Force
Total launches6
Launch pad(s)1
Launch history
First launch29 June 1971
Last launch12 December 1975

Probe Launch Complex C or PLC-C at the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, United States, is a launch complex which was used for six sounding rocket launches between 1971 and 1975. It was originally built as Launch Complex C or LC-C at the Point Arguello Naval Air Station, however no launches were made from the site whilst it was part of Point Arguello. Following the merger of Point Arguello into Vandenberg in 1964, it was briefly designated PALC-C, and subsequently Probe Launch Complex C.

Launch history

Six launches occurred from Probe Launch Complex C. The first four launches used Aerobee-170 rockets, whilst the last two used Tomahawks. Five of the launches reached space, with the exception of the third Aerobee, which failed early in its flight. The Aerobee launches conducted tests of infrared sensors for anti-ballistic missile systems, whilst the Tomahawks were used for aeronomy research.

Date/Time (GMT) Rocket Mission Outcome Apogee Remarks
29 June 1971, 13:10 Aerobee-170 Chaser-1 Success 161 kilometres (100 mi)
24 November 1971, 06:15 Aerobee-170 Chaser-2 Success 145 kilometres (90 mi)
20 June 1972, 16:45 Aerobee-170 Chaser-3 Failure 8 kilometres (5.0 mi)
11 October 1972, 11:31 Aerobee-170 Chaser-4 Success 151 kilometres (94 mi)
15 August 1975, 05:21 Tomahawk Escape I Success 272 kilometres (169 mi)
12 December 1975, 05:09 Tomahawk Escape II Success 164 kilometres (102 mi)


  • Wade, Mark. "Vandenberg PLC-C". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
  • Webb, Brian. "Vandenberg AFB Launch History". Southwest Space Archive. Retrieved 2009-05-19.