A July 1995 Popular Mechanics article featured a new commercial
spaceport for small payloads.
LOMPOC, CA -- If spaceflight ever becomes as routine as air travel,
Vandy may one day be as familiar a departure terminal as O'Hare or LAX. A
unique civilian spaceport opens next year at Vandenburg Air Force Base.
At the heart of the new complex is a payload-processing facility developed
for Air Force space shuttle missions -- but mothballed after the Challenger explosion.
While the building could still handle a shuttle, it's being expanded to accommodate
California Spaceport will also include two stack-and-checkout facilities, a
mobile launch platform and a blastoff pad. The pad's location boasts several
advantages, including the abilities to launch out over the ocean and to put
spacecraft directly into polar orbit.
The West Coast port will specialize in small rockets that pack payloads
between 300 and 5000 pounds.
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