Encyclopedia Astronautica
Cape Canaveral LC18A


Viking, Vanguard, Scout launch complex. The LC18 complex included two launch pads 18A and 18B. Pad 18A was used to launch 14 Vanguard space vehicles for NASA and the U.S. Navy between 8 December 1956 and 19 September 1959. Following termination of the Vanguard program, Pad 18A supported ten Blue Scout Junior launches for the Air Force between 21 September 1960 and 10 June 1965. Complex 18 was deactivated on 1 February 1967.

Longitude: -80.5625 deg.
Latitude: 28.4501 deg.
First Launch: 1956.12.08.
Last Launch: 1965.06.09.
Number: 24 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • Vanguard 1 American technology satellite. 4 launches, 1957.12.06 (Vanguard 1A) to 1958.04.29 (Vanguard 2A). An engineering test satellite. Based on orbital position data derived from its transmissions, the shape of the earth was refined. More...
  • Vanguard 2 American earth magnetosphere satellite. 4 launches, 1958.05.28 (Vanguard 2B) to 1959.02.17 (Vanguard 2). The actual operational satellite that was to be launched by the Vanguard launcher. More...
  • Vanguard 3 American earth magnetosphere satellite. 4 launches, 1959.04.14 (30-inch Sphere) to 1959.09.18 (Vanguard 3). Radiation, micrometeoroid data. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Vanguard American orbital launch vehicle. Vanguard was the 'civilian' vehicle developed by the US Navy to launch America's first satellite as part of the International Geophysical Year. The Army / von Braun Jupiter-C instead launched the first US satellite after Sputnik and Vanguard's public launch failure. The second stage design led to the Able upper stage for Thor/Atlas, and then to the Delta upper stage still in use in the 21st Century. The original version of Vanguard used a Grand Central final stage. More...
  • Blue Scout Jr American suborbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Castor + 1 x Antares + 1 x Alcor + 1 x Cetus More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...

Cape Canaveral LC18A Chronology


1956 December 8 - . 06:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Viking. Launch Vehicle: Viking Type 9. LV Configuration: Viking Type 9 13/TV0.
  • Vanguard TV0 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 204 km (126 mi). First Vanguard test; re-entry studies; not a vertical firing. Launched at 0103 local time. First test rocket in the IGY-U.S. satellite program, a one-stage NRL Viking, attained an altitude of 176 km and a speed of 6,400 kph. Viking No. 13 carried a "minitrack" radio transmitter which was ejected at 80 km and tracked.

1957 May 1 - . 06:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Viking. Launch Vehicle: Viking Type 9. LV Configuration: Viking Type 9 14/TV1.
  • Vanguard TV1 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 195 km (121 mi). Summary: Test of Vanguard third-stage separation and firing at altitude.Launched at 0129 local time..

1957 October 23 - . 19:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard TV-2.
  • Vanguard TV2 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 175 km (108 mi). Summary: IGY Vanguard prototype (TV-2) with simulated second and third stage successfully met test objectives, by reaching 109-mile altitude and 4,250 mph..

1957 December 6 - . 16:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard TV-3. FAILURE: Vehicle lost thrust and exploded after 2 seconds.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Vanguard 1A - . Payload: Vanguard Test Satellite. Mass: 1.00 kg (2.20 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. Decay Date: 1957-12-06 . COSPAR: F571206A. Summary: First US orbital attempt. IGY Vanguard (TV-3), the first with three live stages, failed to launch a test satellite..

1958 February 5 - . 07:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard TV-3BU. FAILURE: Control system malfunction - control lost after 57 sec.. Failed Stage: G.
  • Vanguard 1B - . Payload: Vanguard Test Satellite. Mass: 1.00 kg (2.20 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. Decay Date: 1958-02-05 . COSPAR: F580205A. Apogee: 6.00 km (3.70 mi). Summary: Trial firing of IGY Vanguard (TV-3Bu) satellite..

1958 March 17 - . 12:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard TV-4.
  • Vanguard 1 - . Payload: Vanguard 1C / Vanguard Test Satellite. Mass: 2.00 kg (4.40 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. USAF Sat Cat: 5 . COSPAR: 1958-Beta-2. Apogee: 3,868 km (2,403 mi). Perigee: 654 km (406 mi). Inclination: 34.2000 deg. Period: 133.20 min. Summary: Transmitted pear-shaped earth data. Life expectancy of perhaps a 1,000 years. The satellite had a mass of 1.6 kg and a diameter of 175 cm..

1958 April 29 - . 02:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard TV-5. FAILURE: Third Stage failed to ignite.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Vanguard 2A - . Payload: X-ray-environmental satellite. Mass: 1.00 kg (2.20 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. Decay Date: 1958-04-28 . COSPAR: F580429A. Apogee: 550 km (340 mi).

1958 May 28 - . 03:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard SLV-1. FAILURE: Improper third stage trajectory - unknown cause.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Vanguard 2B - . Payload: Lyman Alpha satellite. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 2. Decay Date: 1958-05-27 . COSPAR: F580528A. Apogee: 3,500 km (2,100 mi).

1958 June 26 - . 05:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard SLV-2. FAILURE: Premature second stage cutoff. Unknown cause.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Vanguard 2C - . Payload: Lyman Alpha satellite. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 2. Decay Date: 1958-06-26 . COSPAR: F580626A. Apogee: 165 km (102 mi).

1958 September 26 - . 15:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard SLV-3. FAILURE: Insufficient 2nd stage thrust - unknown cause.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Vanguard 2D - . Payload: Cloud cover satellite. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 2. Decay Date: 1958-09-26 . COSPAR: F580926A. Apogee: 426 km (264 mi).

1958 October 11 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18/pad?.
  • Thor Able second test. - . Nation: USA. PIONEER I, U.S.-IGY space probe under direction of NASA and with the AFBMD as executive agent, launched from AMR, Cape Canaveral, Fla., by a Thor-Able-I booster. It raveled 70,700 miles before returning to earth, determined radial extent of great radiation belt, first observations of earth's and interplanetary magnetic field, and first measurements of micrometeorite density in interplanetary space.

1959 February 17 - . 15:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard SLV-4.
  • Vanguard 2 - . Payload: Vanguard 2E / Cloud cover satellite. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Vanguard. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 2. USAF Sat Cat: 11 . COSPAR: 1959-Alpha-1. Apogee: 3,049 km (1,894 mi). Perigee: 557 km (346 mi). Inclination: 32.9000 deg. Period: 122.80 min. Summary: Operated for 18 days; satellite wobble degraded data..

1959 April 14 - . 02:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard SLV-5. FAILURE: Stage 2 damaged at separation.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Vanguard 3A - . Payload: Magnetometer satellite. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Vanguard. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 3. Decay Date: 1959-04-13 . COSPAR: F590414A. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).
  • 30-inch Sphere - . Payload: Air density satellite. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Spacecraft: Vanguard 3. COSPAR: F590414B. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1959 June 22 - . 20:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard SLV-6. FAILURE: Stage 2 propulsion malfunction.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Vanguard 3B - . Payload: Radiation Balance satellite. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Vanguard. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 3. Decay Date: 1959-06-22 . COSPAR: F590622A. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).

1959 September 18 - . 05:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. LV Configuration: Vanguard X-248 SLV-7.
  • Vanguard 3 - . Payload: Vanguard 3C / Magne-Ray satellite. Mass: 23 kg (50 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 3. USAF Sat Cat: 20 . COSPAR: 1959-Eta-1. Apogee: 3,413 km (2,120 mi). Perigee: 512 km (318 mi). Inclination: 33.4000 deg. Period: 126.40 min. Summary: Radiation, micrometeoroid data. Third stage failed to separate from payload. The TV-4BU burned-out third stage was left attached to the payload since the fiberglas case did not adversely affect the experiments..

1960 September 21 - . 13:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr. LV Configuration: Blue Scout Jr D-1.
  • Blue Scout first launch, with Radiation Probe (HETS) payload. - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 26,700 km (16,500 mi). Summary: USAF Blue Scout rocket fired from Cape Canaveral placed instrumented payload 16,600 miles above the earth, the first of 11 such tests, but no data were received due to radio malfunction..

1960 November 8 - . 13:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr. LV Configuration: Blue Scout Jr D-2. FAILURE: Failure.
  • HETS Magnetospheric mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1961 August 17 - . 14:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr. LV Configuration: Blue Scout Jr O-1.
  • HETS Magnetosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Apogee: 225,000 km (139,000 mi).

1963 July 30 - . 16:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr. LV Configuration: Blue Scout Jr 22-1/AD-622.
  • OAR 22-1 / AFCRL-1 / 21 Plasma / radio astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 11,100 km (6,800 mi).

1964 March 13 - . 11:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr. LV Configuration: Blue Scout Jr 22-2/AD-623. FAILURE: Failure.
  • OAR 22-2 / AFCRL-9 Magnetosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 600 km (370 mi).

1965 January 28 - . 12:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr. LV Configuration: Blue Scout Jr 22-3. FAILURE: Failure.
  • OAR 22-3 / AFCRL-309 Magnetosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1965 March 30 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr. LV Configuration: Blue Scout Jr 22-4.
  • OAR 22-4 / AFCRL-35 Magnetosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12,067 km (7,498 mi).

1965 April 9 - . 18:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr. LV Configuration: Blue Scout Jr 22-9.
  • OAR 22-9 / AFWL-14 Magnetosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 25,422 km (15,796 mi).

1965 May 12 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr. LV Configuration: Blue Scout Jr 22-8.
  • OAR 22-8 / AFCRL-335 Magnetosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 13,586 km (8,441 mi).

1965 June 9 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr. LV Configuration: Blue Scout Jr 22-5.
  • OAR 22-5 / AFWL-304 Magnetosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17,533 km (10,894 mi).

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