On-line Book

Book Cover
Cover Page



Phase I:
Introductory Essay

Phase II:
Introductory Essay

Wind Tunnels

Engine Development

Engine Test Stands

Rocket Testing


Launch Pads

Apollo Training

Apollo Hardware Testing

Unmanned Spacecraft Testing

Tracking Stations

Mission Control Centers

Other Support


Man in Space
A National Historic Landmark Theme Study
National Park Service Arrowhead

F. Launch Pads

13. Space Launch Complex 2 (Vandenberg AFB)
25. Launch Complex 33 (White Sands) — Phase II addition

Space Launch Complex 2W at Vandenberg Air Force Base is recommended for designation as a National Historic Landmark because it is the finest remaining example of a 1950s-era launch complex in the country. All facilities associated with the site are intact. The blockhouse retains the original electronic equipment. The only modifications to the site over the years involved changing from the Thor to the Delta Rockets. Since the Delta is descended from the Thor Rocket, modifications were minor.

Launch Complex 33 at the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Test Range is recommended for designation as a National Historic Landmark because of its close association with the testing of the V-2 rocket and the origins of the American rocket program. Launch Complex 33 was developed specifically to accommodate V-2 rocket tests at White Sands. The V-2 Gantry Crane and Blockhouse represent the first generation of large scale rocket testing facilities that would eventually lead to the American exploration of space and the first manned landing on the moon. The V-2 provided the technological base upon which the United States would build the Saturn family of rockets that eventually carried Americans to the moon. Launch Complex 33 also provided the facilities at which scores of Americans learned the techniques of launching large rockets.

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Last Modified: Mon, Jan 8 2001 10:00:00 am PDT

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