Western Proving Ground

Western Proving Ground

 

(until 1965, the Pacific Proving Ground), an important space center of the United States, encompassing four rocket proving grounds north of the city of Los Angeles. It is 260 sq km in area.

The center of the launching complexes is located at 35°00’ N lat. and 120°30’ W long. The course of the Western Proving Ground stretches more than 10,000 km out over the Pacific Ocean. It is possible to extend the course to the Indian Ocean. Approximately ten measuring stations equipped with optical, telemetric, and radar units are situated along the course. Ships and planes are also used to follow rocket flights. The Western Proving Ground is used for launches of artificial earth satellites (mainly into polar orbits), with the help of Atlas, Titan, Scout, and other rocket carriers. The space center can launch artificial earth satellites into orbits with angles of inclination (relative to the equatorial plane) ranging from 34.7° to 90° (for artificial earth satellites that circle to the southwest) and from 81.8° to 90° (for satellites circling to the southeast). Rocket launches are restricted to the sector between the azimuths of 170° and 301°. The proving ground is also extensively used for flight testing of US combat missiles.

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