Space Port

Launch Sites

This page has brief info on launch sites (space port) with links to other useful websites.

Africa Launch Sites:

San Marco Platform (Italian)

Australian Launch Sites:

Christmas Island: This site has been proposed for future Aurora Launch Vehicles.

Woomera: Located in South Australia. The K-1 rocket maybe launched here in the future.

Brazillian Launch Sites:

Alcantara Launch Center -

China Launch Sites:

Shuang Cheng Tzu


CIS (former Soviet Union)

Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakh Republic

Baikonur was created in 1955 under a veil of secrecy in the Soviet Union. The Baikonur Cosmodrome covers an area of 125km by 85km.

Many historic flights began here. Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was launched on the first manned space mission from here on a Vostok Rocket on 12 April 1961. All manned missions have been launched from here: Vostok missions, Voshkhod missions, Soyuz missions.

Famous rockets launched from here include: the Proton Rocket which is used to launch satelittes and launch modules to the International Space Station. The Soyuz Rocket is used to launch manned spacecraft to the ISS, Progress Spacecraft and satellites. Zenit Rocket is used to launch satellites. Past launch vehicles include: Energiya/Buran, N-1, UR-200.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Baikonur has suffered economic problems and its future of Baikonur is uncertain

Kapustin Yar, Russia

Bor-4 and Bor-5 test space planes were launched from here.

Plesetsk, Russia

This launch site is focussed on military launches.

Svobodny Space Launch Facilities:

Although officials for several years have talked about the advantages of constructing a new Russian Cosmodrome in the Far East, not until early 1994 were specific plans set in motion. The selected site is a former ICBM base named Svobodny. Its latitude is essentially equivalent to the minimum orbital inclination now permitted from Baikonur. The first space launches from Svobodnyy, which could come as early as 1996, will be with Rokot boosters in modified silos. Proposals to operate the future Angara launch vehicle from Svobodnyy met initial resistance from the Russian government, but the issue is apparently far from settled.

Europe's Launch Facility in French Guiana:

Kourou, French Guiana

CNES, the French Space Agency decided to construct its own launch site at Kourou in 1964. Since then the complex has been used by the European Space Agency (ESA) for launching the Ariane-4 (no longer in service), Ariane-5 and the Vega Rocket in future. The Soyuz Rocket will be launched from here in 2007. At present there are no manned launches from Kourou.

Indian Launch Sites:

Sriharikota Range

Israel Launch Sites:


Japans Launch Sites:

Kagoshima Space Center

Tanegashima Space Center

USA Launch Sites:

Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral), Florida

Kennedy Space Center is the main launch site for the US Space Programme. Once a spacecraft has been launched, control is handed over to Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center, Houston or to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California for unmanned planetary missions.

The Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) is one the most prominent features at the Kennedy Space Center. The Vehicle Assembly Building is 160m (525ft) high and covers an area of three hectares (eight acres). The VAB is one of the largest buildings in the world. The Vehicle Assembly Building was originally constructed to assemble the Saturn V rockets used in the Apollo programme and now services the Space Shuttle.

The famous Space Shuttle is launched from here. There were plans in the 1990's to launch the shuttle from Vanderberg AFB.

The first launch at the Kennedy Space Center was of a captured German V-2 rocket on July 24 1950.

Vanderberg AFB, California

Wallops Island, Virginia

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Copyright 2000-2014 Vic Stathopoulos. All rights reserved.
Updated: Tuesday 1st, April, 2014

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