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from Foxtrot Alpha

The Space Shuttle’s Military Launch Complex In California That Never Was

Construction at the site began in 1979 and was mostly completed by 1985, with the Defense Department going so far as having the aerodynamic test Orbiter, the Enterprise, mocked up on the pad complete with its external tank tank and boosters. This was done to validate the pad’s proper fitment for Shuttle Launch System. Once the Enterprise arrived, the shuttle stack was assembled right on the pad, just as it would be during a real pre-launch evolution.

NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft 905, still sporting its original American Airlines colors, is pictured here with shuttle Enterprise during the first of the shuttle programs Approach and Landing Tests (ALT) at the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California in 1977. Flying a 170,000 pound, 122-foot long space shuttle orbiter on top of a 747 is no easy feat. A minimum of two pilots and two flight engineers are required by NASA for the SCA to fly an orbiter. Photo Credit: NASA

OV-101 Enterprise at Vandenberg AFB, California, 1985. The multi-billion dollar facility to launch the Shuttle into polar orbits was mothballed.

El Transbordador espacial Enterprise (1976) fue el primer transbordador construido para la NASA. Inicialmente se construyó sin motores ni escudo térmico y por consiguiente no tenía la capacidad de realizar misiones espaciales. Solo se utilizó para vuelos en la atmósfera. Para eso llevó a cabo varios vuelos a lomos de un Boeing 747 convenientemente modificado, denominado Shuttle Carrier Aircraft por la NASA, y cinco vuelos libres para las pruebas de aproximación y aterrizaje correspondientes.

This is the pic of a space shuttle leaving our atmosphere taken from space by NASA. Amazing isn't it. And how nano are we in the cosmic scale.