THE SPACE LAUNCH DELTA 45
Space Launch Delta 45 (SLD 45) is one of several Deltas in the newly formed United States Space Force – a service branch within the Air Force – and is currently under Space Operation Command (SpOC).
SLD 45 is stationed at Patrick Space Force Base and manages all space launch operations on Cape Canaveral and on the Eastern Range, which includes launch activities from Space Force, NASA, the Department of Defense and other private companies.
What is the purpose of the Space Force?
“The USSF is a military service that organizes, trains, and equips space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interest in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force.” – Our Mission, spaceforce.mil
The Space Force was founded on December 20, 2019 and is headquartered in the Pentagon. It was preceded by the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC).
“WORLD’S PREMIER GATEWAY TO SPACE”
The origins of Space Launch Delta 45 extend back to the 1940s during the Army’s early efforts for missile testing on the Florida Space Coast.
The newly formed Air Force received the Banana River Naval Air Station from the Navy in 1948. First called the Air Force Division of the Joint Long Range Proving Ground in 1949, it went through several name changes and evolutions before being designated as the 45th Space Wing in 1991. The base itself was renamed Patrick Air Force Base in 1950 in honor of Maj. Gen. Mason M. Patrick, a retired Air Corps chief and WWI veteran. The 45th Space Wing transitioned to Space Launch Delta 45 in 2021, following changes to Patrick Space Force Base and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in late 2020.
Some of their past notable operations include Atlas V, Delta IV, Pegasus, Falcon 9, and Boeing X-37.SLD 45 Name History Visit Their Official Site
THE SPACE FORCE TODAY
The Space Force manages the Eastern Range, more than 10,000 miles of space stretching from Florida through the Southern Atlantic ocean and into parts of the Indian Ocean.
Their equipment and network of data and resources support the launch efforts and testing not only for NASA, the Department of Defense, and private space launch companies, but also support the Air Force’s Technical Application Center and 920th Rescue Wing as well as the Navy’s Naval Ordinance Test Unit (NOTU) and its sea-based missile testing.
At present, there are a handful of active launch complexes at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, all activities of which are managed in conjunction with Space Force and the Space Launch Delta 45.
- Launch Complex 36 (under construction)
Used by Blue Origin Federation
- Launch Complex 37
Used by United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV program
- Launch Complex 39
At Kennedy Space Center and used by NASA and SpaceX
- Launch Complex 40
Used by SpaceX
- Launch Complex 41
Used by ULA’s Atlas program