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US Space Force Working to Make Launch Facilities More Resilient

Launch infrastructure


US Space Force Working to Make Launch Facilities More Resilient

The U.S. Space Force is taking steps to make its launch facilities more resilient against enemy attacks and other threats.

Col. Mark Shoemaker, vice commander of operations at Space Launch Delta 45, said during the Space Force’s Space Mobility Conference that the service is analyzing and creating operational concepts to ensure that launch ranges can operate amid national disasters or active adversarial threats. The service is currently working with other federal agencies to create a strategy for spaceport resiliency and interoperability.

Space Launch Delta 45 operates the Space Force’s Eastern Range, a complex of rocket launch sites that includes the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and the Kennedy Space Center. Both facilities launch civil, commercial and national security rockets, C4ISRNET reported Wednesday.

The Eastern Range hosted dozens of launches in 2022 and even set a record number for both Cape Canaveral and KSC. There were 57 orbital-class rockets that departed from the two sites, which is 26 more than the previous record set in 1966 and 2021.

SpaceX was responsible for the majority of the launches, having flown 48 rockets in 2022. In the same year, NASA used Cape Canaveral to execute the first test flight for the Space Launch System, which will be used on future lunar missions.

Meanwhile, KSC’s Launch Complex 39B hosted the first Artemis mission in November 2022. The Artemis mission was the first time that the SLS rocket lifted off from the facility.

In 2023, KSC hosted multiple SpaceX missions that delivered various payloads into space, including the USSF-67 mission in January that carried a military communications satellite and other payloads.

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Category: Space