Eastern Range

Eastern Range

The Eastern Range (ER) is a rocket range that supports missile and rocket launches from the two major launch heads located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Kennedy Space Center.rp|pg 5cite web |url=http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/nssrm/initiatives/eastrang.htm |title=Eastern Range (U) |accessdate=2008-02-10 |format=html |work= ] The range has also supported Ariane launches from the Guiana Space Centre as well as providing support for launches from the Wallops Flight Facility and other lead ranges.rp|pg 7 The range also uses instrumentation operated by NASA at Wallops Flight Facility and at Kennedy Space Center (KSC).rp|pg 12

The Headquarters of the range is the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base.rp|pg 1


The history of the Eastern Range began on 1940-10-01 with the activation of the Banana River Naval Air Station which supported antisubmarine sea-patrol planes during World War II. The station was deactivated and put into a caretaker status on 1947-09-01.rp|pg 5cite web |url=http://www.patrick.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=4514 |title= Fact Sheets : EVOLUTION OF THE 45TH SPACE WING |accessdate=2008-06-02 |publisher= |date= ]

Launches of captured V-2 rockets had been ongoing since the end of World War II at White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico, but it became clear that a much longer range away from heavily populated areas would be needed.cite web |last= Lethbridge |first= Keith |url= http://www.spaceline.org/capehistory/2a.html |title=THE MISSILE RANGE TAKES SHAPE (1949-1958) |accessdate=2008-02-24] The Joint Research and Development Board established the Committee on the Long Range Proving Ground in October, 1946 to study locations for such a range, with three potential sites emerging: along the northern coast of Washington with a range along the Aleutian Islands; El Centro, California, with a range along the Baja peninsula; and Banana River Naval Air Station with a launch site at Cape Canaveral and a range over the Bahama's and into the Atlantic Ocean. The Washington site was quickly discarded due to difficulties with support due to cold weather and remoteness. El Centro was put forth as the primary choice (due to being close to missile manufacturers) with the Cape as second choice. However, the El Centro site had to be abandoned after a wayward V-2 missile from White Sands crashed into a cemetery in Juarez, Mexico, leading to then Mexican President Aleman refusing to allow missiles to overfly Baja.

The Navy transferred the Air Station to the Air Force on 1948-09-01 and it remained on standby status. On 1949-05-11, President Truman signed Public Law 60 which established the Joint Long Range Proving Ground.cite web |url=http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19670030427_1967030427.pdf |title=Chronology of work stoppages and related events, KSC NASA and AFETR through July 1965 |accessdate=2008-08-23 |format=PDF ] On 1949-06-10, the Banana River Naval Air Station was redesignated the Joint Long Range Proving Ground Base and Advance Headquarters, Joint Long Range Proving Ground and the Air Force Division, Joint Long Range Proving Ground was established. On 1950-05-16 and 1950-05-17, range and base dropped the "Joint" in their names due to a DOD decicion earlier in the year to put the range exclusively under Air Force jurisdiction. On 1950-07-24, Bumper #8 became the first missile to launch from the Cape.

The Long Range Proving Ground Base was renamed Patrick Air Force Base on 1950-08-01, in honor of Major General Mason M. Patrick and the following year on 1951-06-30, the Joint Long Range Proving Ground Division became the Air Force Missile Test Center and the Joint Long Range Proving Ground became the Florida Missile Test Range. these would not be the only name changes for the range or the agency that controlled it. The Florida Missile Test Range was renamed the Atlantic Missile Range in 1958 and the Eastern Test Rangecite web |last= Lethbridge |first= Keith |url= http://www.spaceline.org/capehistory/3a.html |title= THE HISTORY OF CAPE CANAVERAL CHAPTER 3 NASA ARRIVES (1959-PRESENT) |accessdate=2009-08-23] in 1964; the Air Force Missile Test Center was redesignated the Air Force Eastern Test Range (AFETR) in 1964, then control of the range was transferred to Detachment 1 of the Space and Missile Test Center located at Vandenberg Air Force Base when AFTER was deactivated on 1977-02-01, which put both the Eastern and Western ranges under the same leadership. On 1979-10-01, control of the range passed to the newly activated Eastern Space and Missile Center (ESMC). The ESMC was trasfered from Air Force Systems Command to Air Force Space Command on 1990-10-01; finally, on 1991-11-12 the 45th Space Wing was activated and assumed operational control for the range from ESMC; on the same day the Eastern Test Range became the Eastern Range.rp|pg 5 The transition on the west coast occurred one week later on 1991-11-19 when the Western Space and Missile Center became the 30th Space Wing and the Western Test Range became the Western Range. [cite web |url=http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=4606 |title=Space Vehicles : History Office : History Office |accessdate=2008-08-24 |author=30th SW Public Affairs ] [cite web |url=http://www.titan-ii.com/VAFB.html |title=VAFB |accessdate=2008-08-24 ]

The current Range Contractor is Computer Sciences Raytheon. [http://computersciencesraytheon.com/home.html CSR homepage]


The range starts at the launch pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and John F. Kennedy Space Center and extends eastward over the Atlantic Ocean to 90 degrees East longitudecite web |url=http://www.fas.org/spp/military/facility/western.pdf |title=BASELINE ASSESSMENT WESTERN SPACE AND MISSILE CENTER |accessdate=2008-06-02 |author=Mr. Loyd C. Parker |coauthors=Mr. Jerry D. Watson Mr. James F. Stephenson |year=1989 |month=07 |format=PDF |publisher=RESEARCH TRIANGLE INSTITUTE CENTER FOR SYSTEMS ENGINEERING FLORIDA OFFICE for U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION OFFICE OF COMMERCIAL SPACE TRANSPORTATION ] rp|pg 10 in the Indian Ocean, where it meet the Western Range.rp|pg 10cite web |url=http://www.fas.org/spp/military/facility/99mar_ccas_1.pdf |title=LAUNCH SITE SAFETY ASSESSMENT, SECTION 1.0 EASTERN RANGE GENERAL RANGE CAPABILITIES|accessdate=2008-08-23 |accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth= |accessyear= |author=Research Triangle Institute Center for Aerospace Technology (CAST) Florida Office|last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year=1999 |month=March |format=PDF |work= |publisher=Federal Aviation Administration |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] rp|pg 5

The range consists of a chain of shore and sea based tracking sites. "By January 1960, the Eastern Range included 13 major stations, approximately 91 outlying sites, a fleet of ships and three marine support stations. By September 1963, the Eastern Range extended around the tip of South Africa to the island of Mahé in the Indian Ocean.cite web |url= http://www.patrick.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=4516 |title= Fact Sheets : Development of the 45SW Eastern Range |accessdate= 2008-01-12] " Much the sea based tracking and many of the land based stations have been replaced by space based tracking, including the present TDRS. Ground stations associated with the range are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, John F. Kennedy Space Center, Jonathan Dickinson Missile Tracking Annex (JDMTA) in Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Antigua Air Station on the island of Antigua in the eastern Carribean, Ascension Auxiliary Airfield on Ascension Island in the south Atlantic ocean and Argentia, Newfoundland on the grounds of the decommissioned Argentia US Navy Facility (NAVFAC) which is manned on an "as needed" basis for northerly launches.rp|pp 12-13

Airborne and sea-based tracking assets

As recently as 2007-07-06, NASA spaceflights such as the launch of the Dawn spacecraft have depended upon the availability of airborne and sea-based tracking assets associated with the ER to monitor launch and ascent. [cite web |url=http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/releases/2007/release-20070706.html |title=Dawn Launch Moves to No Earlier Than Monday July 9 |date=2007-07-06 |publisher=NASA]

ee also

*Ascension Island
*Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
*DAMP Project
*Missile Test Project
*Pacific Missile Range Facility
*Pan American Airways Guided Missile Range Division
*US Air Force ships
*Western Launch and Test Range


External links


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