Encyclopedia Astronautica
Cape Canaveral LC31A


Pershing, Minuteman, M55E1 launch complex. Built 1959-1960 to support the Air Force's Minuteman missile program. Used for Minuteman tests 1961-1970. In 1973 used briefly for the Army's Pershing 1A follow-on testing program.

Complexes 31 and 32 were built between July 1959 and July 1960 to support the Air Force's Minuteman missile program. Each complex had one blockhouse and two launch pads. The two "A" pads were constructed as conventional flat pads, and the two "B" pads were built as ballistic missile silos. The sites were modified subsequently to support later versions of the Minuteman missile. Pad 31A supported the first Minuteman I launch on 1 February 1961. In all, 92 Minuteman I, II and III missiles were launched from the complexes between 1 February 1961 and 15 December 1970. In 1973, Pad 31A was used briefly for the Army's Pershing 1A follow-on testing program. Batteries of the 84th and 41st Field Artillery, U.S, Seventh Army, fired 12 Pershing 1As in February and March 1973.

Longitude: -80.5563 deg.
Latitude: 28.4516 deg.
First Launch: 1961.02.01.
Last Launch: 1973.03.19.
Number: 16 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Minuteman 1A American intercontinental ballistic missile. Initial production version, 3 stage vehicle. The Minuteman IA used exclusively the Mk.5 RV with the W59 (1 MT) warhead. More...
  • M55E1 American sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x M55E1 + 1 x SR19AJ1 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 LC31A Chronology


1961 February 1 - . 15:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1A. LV Configuration: Minuteman 1A 401.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1961 May 19 - . 14:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1A. LV Configuration: Minuteman 1A 402. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1961 July 27 - . 15:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1A. LV Configuration: Minuteman 1A 403.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1970 March 14 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. Launch Pad: LC31A/Truck. Launch Vehicle: M55E1.
  • Sheltered Base research and development mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1973 February 21 - . 15:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. Launch Pad: LC31A?. LV Family: Pershing. Launch Vehicle: Pershing 1A. LV Configuration: Pershing 1A 101.
  • X-240 US 7th Army 84th Field Artillery/3rd Battalion Battery A operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA USA. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).

1973 February 21 - . 15:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. Launch Pad: LC31A?. LV Family: Pershing. Launch Vehicle: Pershing 1A. LV Configuration: Pershing 1A 102.
  • X-241 US 7th Army 84th Field Artillery/3rd Battalion Battery A operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).

1973 February 21 - . 16:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. Launch Pad: LC31A?. LV Family: Pershing. Launch Vehicle: Pershing 1A. LV Configuration: Pershing 1A 103.
  • X-242 US 7th Army 84th Field Artillery/3rd Battalion Battery A operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).

1973 February 21 - . 17:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. Launch Pad: LC31A?. LV Family: Pershing. Launch Vehicle: Pershing 1A. LV Configuration: Pershing 1A 104.
  • X-243 US 7th Army 84th Field Artillery/3rd Battalion Battery A operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).

1973 March 6 - . 23:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. Launch Pad: LC31A?. LV Family: Pershing. Launch Vehicle: Pershing 1A. LV Configuration: Pershing 1A 105.
  • X-244 US 7th Army 41st Field Artillery /1st Battalion Battery C operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).

1973 March 6 - . 23:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. Launch Pad: LC31A?. LV Family: Pershing. Launch Vehicle: Pershing 1A. LV Configuration: Pershing 1A 106.
  • X-245 US 7th Army 41st Field Artillery /1st Battalion Battery C operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).

1973 March 7 - . 00:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. Launch Pad: LC31A?. LV Family: Pershing. Launch Vehicle: Pershing 1A. LV Configuration: Pershing 1A 107. FAILURE: Failure.
  • X-246 US 7th Army 41st Field Artillery /1st Battalion Battery C operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1973 March 7 - . 00:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. Launch Pad: LC31A?. LV Family: Pershing. Launch Vehicle: Pershing 1A. LV Configuration: Pershing 1A 108.
  • X-247 US 7th Army 41st Field Artillery /1st Battalion Battery C operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).

1973 March 19 - . 16:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. Launch Pad: LC31A?. LV Family: Pershing. Launch Vehicle: Pershing 1A. LV Configuration: Pershing 1A 111.
  • X-248 US 7th Army 84th Field Artillery/3rd Battalion Battery C operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).

1973 March 19 - . 16:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. Launch Pad: LC31A?. LV Family: Pershing. Launch Vehicle: Pershing 1A. LV Configuration: Pershing 1A 112.
  • X-249 US 7th Army 84th Field Artillery/3rd Battalion Battery C operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).

1973 March 19 - . 17:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. Launch Pad: LC31A?. LV Family: Pershing. Launch Vehicle: Pershing 1A. LV Configuration: Pershing 1A 109.
  • X-250 US 7th Army 84th Field Artillery/3rd Battalion Battery C operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).

1973 March 19 - . 17:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC31A. Launch Pad: LC31A?. LV Family: Pershing. Launch Vehicle: Pershing 1A. LV Configuration: Pershing 1A 110.
  • X-251 US 7th Army 84th Field Artillery/3rd Battalion Battery C operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).

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