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Besides, there is probably an endangered KNAT or some No-See-Um that would 
be destroyed if there were additional launch facilities at Vandenberg.  We 
wouldn't want to upset the tree hugging, bug saving, democrat voting, don't 
drill in Alaska preaching, citizens here in California.... :-)

I was at the landing of the first Space Shuttle Mission AFTER the 
Challenger Accident.  There was a HUGE crowd out there to see it land.  For 
no other reason than PR (and to possibly train the workers), they should 
land in CA at least once a year!  I'm sure a BUNCH of people would turn out 
to see it!

At 16:09 06/18/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>IIRC .. Edwards is a viable landing site, but when an STS lands at Edwards 
>it then has to be ferried cross country on the 747 piggyback bird, which 
>means a cycle on the mating facility at Edwards, attaching the transport 
>fairings, a fuel stop midcontinent somewhere (I remember one of the early 
>ferry flights stopping at Bergstrom AFB in Austin years ago), and a whole 
>bunch of extra work at KSC starting at the Mate/Demate Facility and extra 
>tasks to do in the OPF.  Same with Rota, Kadena, and the other alternate 
>landing facilities.  Basically it's a *huge* pain, and NASA tends to 
>prefer to wait for the main runway at KSC unless it's really not an option 
>at all.
>The original plan was to build an STS *launch* facility in California at 
>Vandenberg AFB, but I don't know if that was ever followed up on .. I 
>don't think so, because it would require a complete FSS/RSS facility and a 
>pad similar to 39A/B at KSC.  This might have been during the initial 
>"sales pitch" era when they were still thinking an STS launch would be 
>cheaper than an Apollo mission .. ;-)


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