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> SLC  was built.  Shuttle could have come and gone from Vandy from it 
> into more or less polar orbits.  Orbits like the one the shuttle is in 
> today would be impossible from Vandy...at least under present launch 
> constraints...think klaunching over the US.

Interesting.  Didn't know it was actually built .. all I knew was that 
it was planned, and then I never heard of an STS launch from 
Vandenberg.  Wish I lived close enough to see it.

> Sadly (or good) SLC 6 was never used (at least for the shuttle).  The 
> pad had some inherent design flaws (like allowing H build up), the 
> shuttles of that era (wht the SRB's and ET of that era) would have 
> carried a crew and toothbrushes and little else, and the cost to orbit 
> as you point out were/are tremendous.

I've been around small quantities of H2 and had them ignite on me by 
accident.  The quantities they'd handle at the SLC would not be small.  

It takes a lot more delta-V to get to LEO from there.  They have to 
launch south instead of east, which loses a *lot* of surface velocity 
from the earth's rotation.  I bet it was expensive.

> They tried several fixes to make the shuttle carry something.  The 
> first was to lighten up the SRB's...I recall one static firing where 
> you could visibily see the cases bulge.  And with the current AiLi ET 
> it probably could lift something from Vandy...but nothing like an EELV 
> will eventually.

The SRB casings *bulged*?!  Yeah, and I bet that was before the 
Challenger explosion too ..

> If a shuttle lands at Edwards it cost a reasonable amount of money over 
> a JSC landing.  I dont exactly remember the amount but while trivial by 
> NASA standards it isnt chicken feed and with the agency spending money 
> at the rate it is every million helps.

Who was it that said "Hey, a million here, a million there, and pretty 
soon you're talking about some real money"?  Seems apropos ..

"Oh yeah? Well, I speak LOOOOOOOUD, and I carry a BEEEEEEEger stick -- 
and I use it too!"  **whop!**   -- Yosemite Sam

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