SLC-3ESpace Launch Complex 3 East (Atlas)
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Modifications to SLC-3E to support an Atlas V vehicle began more than four years ago when a 22-month development program was initiated.
Atlas V at Vandenberg SLC-3E will use a stationary launch pad with mobile service tower, in contrast to the facilities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where the rocket is stacked in a Vertical Integration Facility and then rolled to the launch pad only 12 hours before launch.
The Atlas V vehicle stands over 200 feet tall, an increase of about 50 feet over the Atlas IIAS vehicle that launched successfully three times from SLC-3E.
SLC-3E at Vandenberg was last modified to accommodate the Atlas IIAS configuration, which flew three successful missions.
Between 1992 and 1997, Bechtel provided design, procurement, construction, and testing and validation services for a $200 million state-of-the-art launch facility at SLC-3E that allows the pad to accommodate a series of larger Atlas vehicles.