Launch Complexes (U)

(U) The Ground Support functional area of DoD's Space Program encompasses launch facilities, satellite control and range test facilities. Two national spacelift ranges, the Eastern Range (ER) headquartered at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida and the Western Range (WR) headquartered at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, provide tracking, telemetry, command/control, communications and other support. These functions are critical to safely and successfully conducting civil, commercial and national security spacelift operations, ballistic missile and a variety of aeronautical and guided weapon tests, as well as Space Shuttle launch and recovery operations.

(U) The Eastern and Western ranges are responsible for maintaining facilities critical to the launch mission. Range infrastructure components include radars, telemetry receiving sites, optical trackers, command destruct transmitters, range safety displays, Range Operations Control Centers (ROCCs), data links, and corrosion control necessary to ensure successful operations.

(U) The Range Standardization and Automation (RSA) program will completely overhaul and modernize both the Eastern Range (ER) and the Western Range (WR), treating the two as a single integrated, standardized range system. Many range assets consist of 1950-1960s designs and technology, and are arrayed in inefficient, manpower intensive architectures. Range instrumentation reliability is deteriorating, with over 40% of the components obsolete without sources of support. The ranges do not presently provide the responsiveness and flexibility critical to affordably support the nation's spacelift needs. Replacement of the aging systems is a necessity. Performance and cost goals cannot be achieved without modernization. RSA will use remote control and automation techniques to reduce the number of required operators, sites and facilities, and to produce improved responsiveness. These systems will be supportable through existing Air Force logistics infrastructure and standard practices.

Related Initiatives (U):
Eastern RangeEastern Range
Western RangeWestern Range
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Categories (U):
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

Shuttle Operations
Shuttle Missions-Endeavor
Shuttle Missions-Columbia
Shuttle Missions-Challenger
Shuttle Missions-Enterprise
Shuttle Missions-Atlantis
Shuttle Missions-Discovery
SAF/AQ Homepage
This Table Is Unclassified.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 21 November 1997

(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999