Encyclopedia Astronautica
Cape Canaveral LC20


Titan, Super Chief, Loki, Prospector, Aries launch complex. Complexes 15, 16, 19, and 20 were built for the Titan ballistic missile program. The sites were accepted by the U.S. Government between February and mid-September 1959. All four sites supported Titan I launches in 1959 and the early 1960s. Complex 20 was modified to support four Titan IIIA flights which took place between 1 September 1964 and 7 May 1965. The site was deactivated in April 1967, but it got a new lease on life toward the end of the 1980s. Complex 20 was selected for the Starbird program in 1987, and it supported a Starbird launch on 18 December 1990. Between 18 June 1991 and 29 May 1993, the complex supported the commercial Joust-1 launch and four Red Tigress and Red Tigress II missions sponsored by the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. Much of Complex 20's electronic equipment and both of its rail launchers were removed in 1995, rendering the site inactive.

Longitude: -80.5567 deg.
Latitude: 28.5121 deg.
First Launch: 1960.07.01.
Last Launch: 2000.12.13.
Number: 28 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • LES American communications technology satellite. 8 launches, 1965.02.11 (LES 1) to 1976.03.15 (LES 9). More...
  • LCS American military target satellite. 3 launches, 1965.05.06 (LCS 1) to 1971.08.07 (LCS 4). Aluminum sphere used for radar calibration. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Titan 1 American intercontinental ballistic missile. ICBM, built as back-up to Atlas, using two stages instead of one and a half, and conventional tank construction in lieu of balloon tanks. It was also to have been used for suborbital tests of the X-20A Dynasoar manned space plane. For unknown reasons never refurbished for use as space launcher and scrapped after being replaced by the Titan II in the missile role in mid-1960's. More...
  • Titan 3A American orbital launch vehicle. Titan with Transtage third stage. Core for Titan 3C. More...
  • Super Loki American sounding rocket. Larger-diameter version of single-stage Loki sounding rocket, developed originally for NASA's Marshall Spaceflight Center. More...
  • Aries American target missile. Space Vector Corporation developed and flew the Aries test vehicle (based on the Minuteman 1 second stage) for Strategic Defence Initiative payloads. More...
  • Starbird American test vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Talos + 1 x Sergeant + 1 x Orbus 1 + 1 x Orbus 1 More...
  • LCLV American low cost orbital launch vehicle. As a result of TRW's review of the Truax/Aerojet Sea Dragon, TRW became so interested in the concept that they undertook studies of their own, which resulted in a design that became known as the 'Big Dumb Booster'. They proposed structural approaches that were even more conservative than Aerojet's, e.g., the use of T-180 steel instead of maraging steel, which would result in even heavier and cheaper tankage. TRW finally obtained USAF funding for fabrication of stage sections and demonstration of scaled-up versions of the TRW pump-fed Apollo Lunar Module ascent engine. The design promised low cost access to space using low technology (steel stages built to low tolerances in shipyards, pressure-fed engines, and low cost storable propellants). But yet again neither NASA or USAF showed interest in true cheap access to space. 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 LC20 Chronology


1960 July 1 - . 17:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I J-2. FAILURE: Destroyed 90 m above pad. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi). Summary: Titan 1 J (Mk 4 RV).

1960 July 28 - . 21:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I J-4. FAILURE: 130 km range. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Summary: Titan 1 J (Mk 4 RV).

1960 August 30 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I J-5.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1960 October 7 - . 15:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I J-3.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1960 December 20 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I J-9. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1961 February 10 - . 05:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I AJ-11.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1961 March 3 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I AJ-12. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1961 March 31 - . 19:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I AJ-15. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1961 May 23 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I AJ-16.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1961 July 21 - . 02:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I AJ-18.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1961 August 4 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I AJ-19.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1961 September 7 - . 01:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I AJ-17.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Summary: USAF Titan successfully launched from Atlantic Missile Range, making 6,100-mile flight..

1961 September 29 - . 01:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I AJ-20.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1961 October 24 - . 23:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I AJ-21.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1961 November 22 - . 00:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I AJ-22.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1961 December 13 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I AJ-23.
  • NTMP TV test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1964 September 1 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3A. LV Configuration: Titan IIIA 3A-2. FAILURE: Transtage pressurization failure caused premature shutdown.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Titan 3A Transtage 1 - . Payload: Transtage 2. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Decay Date: 1964-09-02 . COSPAR: F640901A.

1964 December 10 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3A. LV Configuration: Titan IIIA 3A-1.
  • Titan 3A Transtage 2 - . Payload: Transtage 1. Mass: 4,077 kg (8,988 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Decay Date: 1964-12-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 949 . COSPAR: 1964-081A. Apogee: 180 km (110 mi). Perigee: 166 km (103 mi). Inclination: 32.1000 deg. Period: 88.00 min. Summary: Launch vehicle test. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1965 February 11 - . 15:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3A. LV Configuration: Titan IIIA 3A-3.
  • LES 1 - . Mass: 31 kg (68 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft: LES. USAF Sat Cat: 1002 . COSPAR: 1965-008C. Apogee: 2,809 km (1,745 mi). Perigee: 2,783 km (1,729 mi). Inclination: 32.1000 deg. Period: 145.80 min. Summary: Lincoln Experimental Satellite; communications experiments. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1965 May 6 - . 15:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3A. LV Configuration: Titan IIIA 3A-6.
  • LCS 1 - . Mass: 34 kg (74 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft: LCS. USAF Sat Cat: 1361 . COSPAR: 1965-034C. Apogee: 2,795 km (1,736 mi). Perigee: 2,786 km (1,731 mi). Inclination: 32.1000 deg. Period: 145.60 min. Summary: Aluminum sphere used for radar calibration. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • LES 2 - . Mass: 37 kg (81 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft: LES. USAF Sat Cat: 1360 . COSPAR: 1965-034B. Apogee: 14,810 km (9,200 mi). Perigee: 2,771 km (1,721 mi). Inclination: 32.2000 deg. Period: 309.90 min. Summary: Experimental commsat. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1990 December 18 - . 03:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: Starbird.
  • LACE UVPI Target Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: OSC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 June 18 - . 11:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. Launch Vehicle: Prospector. LV Configuration: Prospector JOUST 1. FAILURE: Failure..
  • Microgravity mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: OSC. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi). Summary: Material and biological experiments..

1991 August 20 - . 09:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. Launch Vehicle: Aries. LV Configuration: Aries Red Tigress 1A. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: SDIO. Apogee: 2.00 km (1.20 mi).

1991 October 14 - . 10:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. Launch Vehicle: Aries. LV Configuration: Aries Red Tigress 1B.
  • Target - . Nation: USA. Agency: SDIO. Apogee: 320 km (190 mi). Summary: LEAP-1. Missile Tracking and Discrimination for SDIO..

1993 May 23 - . 09:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: LCLV. LV Configuration: LCLV Red Tigress 2A.
  • Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: SDIO. Apogee: 378 km (234 mi).

1993 May 28 - . 08:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Super Chief. Launch Vehicle: LCLV. LV Configuration: LCLV Red Tigress 2B.
  • Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: SDIO. Apogee: 390 km (240 mi).

2000 January 21 - . 16:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Super Loki. LV Configuration: Super Loki LiteStar.
  • Education mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: SPFLA. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

2000 December 12 - . 20:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Super Loki. LV Configuration: Super Loki LiteStar.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: SPFLA. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

2000 December 13 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Super Loki. LV Configuration: Super Loki LiteStar.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: SPFLA. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

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