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LC 17 DELTA II.jpg

Photo Courtesy NASA





Written and Edited by Cliff Lethbridge




Configuration: Single Blockhouse (Original), Remote Firing Room (Current), Two Launch Pads




Current Status: Inactive


First Launch: August 30, 1957


Final Launch: August 17, 2009


Number of Launches: 164


Vehicles Launched: Thor, Thor-Able 0, Thor-Able I, Thor-Able II, Thor-Able III, Thor-Able IV, Delta, Thor-Able Star, Delta B, Delta D, Delta C, Delta E, Delta G, Delta M, Delta N, Delta L, Delta M6, Delta 2000 Series, Delta 3000 Series, Delta II 6000 Series, Delta II 7000 Series




Current Status: Inactive


First Launch: January 25, 1957


Final Launch: September 10, 2011


Number of Launches: 162


Vehicles Launched: Thor, Thor-Able Star, Delta, Delta A, Delta B, Delta C, Delta E, Delta G, Delta N, Delta 1000 Series, Delta 2000 Series, Delta 3000 Series, Delta 4000 Series, Delta II 6000 Series, Delta II 7000 Series, Delta III 8000 Series


Launch Complex 17 was built for development and testing of the Air Force Thor Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile. Once the Thor missile testing ran its course and the Thor was modified to carry space payloads, Launch Complex 17 slowly and surely was modified and grew to handle a plethora of NASA, Air Force and commercial payload applications, the vast majority of which carried the storied Delta name. Delta originated in 1960 as a Thor-based space launch vehicle, and its relatives carried the name well into the 21st century. The complex featured a single blockhouse and two launch pads, each serviced by its own mobile service tower. The blockhouse was reinforced on the outside by an earthen wall as Delta missiles grew more and more powerful. The blockhouse was used for Delta launches until 1997, when a catastrophic Delta failure rained debris on the complex, severely endangering the personnel inside the blockhouse. Although no one was injured, the blockhouse was abandoned in favor of a remote launch control room for subsequent Delta launches. Upon its retirement in 2011, Launch Complex 17 was the oldest active launch complex on Cape Canaveral, used for nearly 60 years.






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