Vandenberg Air Force Base is one of the US’ key spaceports and is responsible for launching both commercial and military satellites into orbit.
Although the Base is capable of launching the Space Shuttle, it never has done, instead sharing the duty of launching Delta rockets with Cape Canaveral in Florida. However, the base’s location makes it a good place to launch satellites into polar orbit, unlike equivalent installations in Florida.
Inside Space Launch Complex 10, Vandenberg operates the Space and Missile Heritage Center, an exhibition telling the story of the development and use of rockets through the Cold War.
Galleries include the “Chronology of the Cold War” and the “Evolution of Technology” and use a combination of launch complex models, launch consoles, rocket engines, re-entry vehicles, audiovisual and computer displays as well as hands-on interaction displays.
Tours are regular but as access is restricted they must be organised through the base’s public affairs office.
For further details, see http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/