Launch Sites

Manned launches have taken place in several countries and from several differint launch sites. This page attempts to give a general synopsis of each site.

United States

Russia (USSR)

China

India


United States

All orbital manned spaceflights from the United States have been launched from Cape Canaveral in Brevard County, Florida.

          

*   LC-5
      Used to launch MR-2, Freedom 7, and Liberty Bell 7.

*   LC-14
      Used to launch MA-5, Friendship 7, Aurora 7, Sigma 7, and Faith 7.

*   LC-19
      Used to launch all Gemini missions.

*   LC-34
      Used to launch Apollo 7.

*   LC-39A,B
      Pad 39-A was used for all Apollo missions except Apollo 7 and Apollo 10. It was also used for 81 shuttle missions. It is currently used by SpaceX to launch the CrewDragon.
      Pad 39-B was the site for the launch of Apollo 10, all three manned Skylab missions, the ASTP, 54 shuttle missions, and will be used by NASA for Artemis missions.

*   SLC-41
      Boeing will use this pad for launching its Starliner.

Launch Complex 5 (LC-5) saw 23 launches of Redstone and Jupiter rockets between 19 July 1956 and 21 July 1961. These included the suborbital launches of Ham, Alan Shepard, and Gus Grissoma. The last launch was of an Atlas-Agena target vehicle for use by Gemini XII. The pad has been demolished, but a few things remain.

Blockhouse in 2010
BY SA-3.0
Firing button
BY SA-3.0
Redstone display in 2010
BY SA-3.0
Liberty Bell 7 on the pad

 

Launch Complex 14 (LC-14) saw 32 launches of Atlas and Atlas-Agewna rockets between 11 June 1957 and 11 November 1966. The pad was abandoned and the red metal gantry was demolished in the 1970's for safety reasons. Partial restoration began in 1997. Enos, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, and Gordon Cooper began their flights from LC-14.


Faith 7 (MA-9) on the pad in 1963

 

Launch Complex 19 (LC-19) was home to 27 launches of Titan I and Titan II missiles, 12 of which were Titan II GLV's for the Gemini Program. Ten of those were manned. The first launch was of a TGitan I on 14 August 1959. A pad explosion resulted in heavy damage which took several months to repair. The final launch was on 11 November 1966 at the conclusion of the Gemini Program. The pad has been inactive since.


Gemini V on the launch pad

 

Launch Complex 34 (LC-34) was used to launch four Saturn I flights (SA-1, SA-2, SA-3, and SA-4) beginning 27 October 1961. It was modified for use with the Saturn IB and launched AS-201 and AS-202 before the Apollo 1 fire took place at the pad. The final launch was of Apollo 7 on 11 October 1968. The pad was then decommissioned.

SA-1 on the pad, 1961 LC-34 as it appears today

 

Launch Complex 39, Pads 39-A and 39-B were constructed for use by the Apollo Program. Except for Apollo 7, all Apollo flights launched from here, as did Skylab and the ASTP. It was then modified for the Space Shuttle. Pad 39-B was also intended for the Constellation Program and re-purposed again for the Artemis Program. Pad 39-A has been leased to SpaceX, which uses it for for multiple murposes, includeing the Crew Dragon.

Apollo 11 on Pad 39-A Atlantis on Pad 39-A Ares I-X on Pad 39-B Artemis I on Pad 39-B Axiom 1 on Pad 39-A (foreground)
The SLS with Artemis I on Pad 39-B (rear)

 

Space Launch Complex 41 (SLS-41) was previously Launch Complex 41 (LC-41) and began use on 21 December 1965 for Titan III and Titan IV launches. It was converted for use by the Atlas V, first launching 21 August 2002. The site is now leased to United Launch Alliance and will be used by Boeing to launch the Starliner.

Titan IV on the pad, 1996 Boeing OFT-2 launching

 

Edwards Air Force Base, California is where the X-15 flew.


X-15 in flight

 

Mojave Air and Space Port, Mojave, California, was used by Scaled Composites for testing of SpaceShipOne and by Virgin Galactic for early testing of SpaceShipTwo.


SpaceShipOne landing at Mojave
BY SA-4.0

 

Spaceport America, Mojave, New Mexico, is by Virgin Galactic for use by SpaceShipTwo.


Terminal building a Spaceport America
BY SA 2.0

 

Launch Site One, Corn Ranch, Van Horn, Texas is the site of New Shepard launches by Blue Origin.

 


Russia (and former USSR)

Baikonur Cosmodrome is located in southern Kazakhstan and leased to Russia. This has been the site of all manned Russian (and former Soviet) space flights. Two launch sites have been used for manned flights.


Capture from Google Earth

Gargarin's Start, also know as Baikonur Site 1 or Site 1/5, is where Yuri Gagarin launched on Vostok in 1961 to become the first man into space. This site is still used for Russian flights to the International Space Station.

Launch of Vostok in 1961 Launch of Soyuz TMA-3

 

Baikonur Site 31, also known as Site 31/6 is used for manned launches when Gagarin's Start is unavailable.

 


China

China launches all of its manned spacecraft from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Launch Area 4 (South Launch Site), SLS-1. Jiuquan is located in the Gobi Desert of Inner Mongolia.


Shenzhou leaving the Vertical Assembly Building
Credit: China News Service

 


India

Indian manned launches will take place from Satish Dhawan Space Centre. Satish Dhawan Space Centre is located in Sriharikota, a barrier island on the east coast of Andhra Pradesh

 


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