At Cape Canaveral dismantled historic launch tower pad LC-17

James Marshall
July 16, 2018

Explosives were used to bring down two aging launch towers at Cape Canaveral in Florida on Thursday, July 12, 2018. "For many, this launch complex bridged the Space Age from the early days to the era of large boosters".

The THEMIS spacecraft atop a Delta II rocekt stands on Launch Complex 17B before launch. Gen. Wayne Monteith, commander of the 45th Space Wing, before pushing a button to initiate a series of detonations.

Known as LC-17, it hosted launches of the Delta and Thor rockets from the late 1950s until 2011.

NASA's first three Mars rovers - Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity - were launched there, as were dozens of Global Positioning System navigation-related flights and numerous scientific, commercial and military payloads, a report from Space Flight Now said.

The Delta II program launched almost 50 Global Positioning System satellites from Florida for the Air Force, helping to establish a precise navigation and timing system that transformed military operations and which ordinary citizens rely upon daily for everything from driving directions to financial transactions.

"With 61 years of history and 325 launches, it's been a pretty incredible piece of the space community for many years", he explains.

The complex, and its towers, was originally built in 1956 for use with the PGM-17 Thor missile, the first operational ballistic missile the US possessed, according to NASA.

The rubble of SLC-17 will be cleared away to make room for Moon Express. It became the launch site of Delta rockets since then, shaping up to be a crucial part of many high-profile missions of NASA such as the Pioneer, the Spirit, and Opportunity Mars. Download the 10News app now.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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