Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

Western Space and Missile Center (WSMC)




American launch site, located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and operated by the 30th Wing of the Air Force Space Command. From WSMC the Western Test Range extends westward over the Pacific Ocean and into the Indian Ocean where it meets the Eastern Test Range. Most spacecraft launches from Vandenberg, however, take place not westward (which would be in opposition to the Earth's spin direction) but southward into polar orbits and included surveillance satellites, low earth orbit (LEO) weather satellites, and environmental and terrain monitoring satellites such as Landsat. Polar launches are particularly from safe WSMC because the next land mass south of the site is Antarctica.


Related categories

   • LAUNCH SITES
   • MILITARY INSTALLATIONS