Manned Spaceflight Space Shuttle

Vandenberg shuttle launch pad ready

EnterpriseWith $4 billion having been spent on upgrading and customizing a special launch facility since 1972 to handle (mostly military) Space Shuttle launches in polar orbits, Vandenberg AFB declares Space Launch Complex 6 launch-ready, with a year to go before the first scheduled polar orbit shuttle launch. But in 1986, amid jitters in the wake of the Challenger disaster, planned use of the west coast launch facility is curtailed and finally cancelled, despite the money and time spent.