Launch Facilities

Logo: Seal of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)White Sands Missile Range features a wide variety of launch facilities that have historically successfully met a diverse set of needs of various customers.

Launch Complex 32

Launch Complex 32 is the site constructed for the NASA Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) in 2007-2008. The facility will be composed of a fully equipped office facility, a vehicle launch final integration and test facility (FITF), a launch pad with a 130 foot gantry, and a vehicle service interface. The total area is approximately 100 acres on the land lease agreement. All vehicle flight articles and their support system will be received, integrated, tested and assembles in this area for stacking on the launch pad for flight.

Launch Complex 34

Launch Complex 34 was established as the land based test site for the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM). This is a semi-hardened site used to flight test RAM against subscale and subsonic targets. The site is used to test various configurations of RAM missiles, weapon systems, support systems, and launchers.

Photo: Testing

Launch Complex 35

Launch Complex 35, known as the USS Desert Ship LLS-1, is primarily used for live fire testing the Navy´s STANDARD Missile (SM). The Navy is currently testing SM and Evolved Seasparrow Missile (ESSM) at this site. All versions of STANDARD Missile have been tested at the Desert Ship including SM-2 Block II (Terrier, Tartar, AEGIS, and Vertical Launch AEGIS), SM-2 Block III/IIIA/IIIB (Terrier, Tartar, and Vertical Launch AEGIS), and SM-2 Block IV (Extended Range Vertical Launch AEGIS). Testing of SM-2 Blk IVA is in process. Other Navy systems that have been tested here include Sea Lance, NATO Seasparrow Missile (NSSM), and Vertical Launch ASROC (VLA). The Desert Ship functionally duplicates the fire control requirements of a surface ship. Dedicated telemetry, target monitoring, and data extraction and reduction systems Launch Complex 35 “The Desert Ship” complement the extensive instrumentation services provided by the Range. A MK-39, 5"/54 Gun Mount is also located here.

Launch Complex 35 is a Research Rocket facility that includes a block-house, launch control equipment, and a payload assembly building. Current use of this facility is for NASA payload buildup, telemetry pre-launch and launch support, and uplink control of rocket payloads.

Missile Assembly Facility (MAF)

The main Missile Assembly Facility (MAF) is located south of Launch Complex 35. The main building is 19,000 square feet and has four assembly bays; two of which are configured with Type I 300 pound Net Explosive Weight Test Cells. This facility permits test and assembly operations on four different missiles at a time. In addition to the main facility, there are several single-bay facilities that can be used for ordnance buildup or as ready service magazines.

Launch Complex 36

Launch Complex 36 is used for launching suborbital rockets. The complex includes a blockhouse, launch control equipment, and four active launchers with environmental shelters. These launchers are; a 37 ft rail with 8,000 lb. capacity; a 48 ft rail with 25,000 lb. capacity; a 160 ft rail (tower) with 8,000 lb. capacity; and a 48 in. diameter stool with 50,000 lb. capacity (Aries class). In addition, a mobile launcher can support operations at other WSMR or off-range locations. The mobile launcher has a 30 ft rail with 15,000 lb. capacity.

Launch Complex 37 Advanced Gun Munitions Test Site (Squirt Site)

Advanced Gun Munitions Test Site (Squirt Site) includes a concrete structure for housing various advanced gun systems, a permanent bunker and a concrete pad. The site has been used for Vertical Launching System restrained firings.

Photo: Testing

Sulf Site Launch Facility
The Sulf Site Launch Facility complex is located at the northwest end of the Range and is equipped with a blockhouse and ordnance assembly building, three active launchers, and a 65 ft environmental shelter. The launchers include a 40 ft rail with 50,000 lb capacity, a 48-in diameter stool with 50,000 lb capacity (Aries class), and a dual-rail Vandal launcher.

The complex is used to launch targets to support missile intercept testing and to launch technology demonstrators or unique science and engineering payloads into sub-orbital trajectories.

West Center 50

West Center 50 is located in the central portion of the Range near Rhodes Canyon. This facility includes a hardened blockhouse that is used to support Navy and Army testing. The central location of this facility maximizes the ability to accommodate testing of short-range systems without a Flight Termination System (FTS).

Industrial Complex

The Industrial Complex includes a full range of industrial and construction support with machine, sheet metal, welding, electrical, and electronic shops. All services are available throughout the missile range. A full line of material handling capabilities is available including 30-ton and 40-ton mobile cranes.

Photo: Testing

Launch Complex 94

Launch Complex 94 is a target launch facility located in the Range’s northern extension. The facility includes administrative offices, a missile assembly building, a launch control shelter, and a launch pad with retractable environmental shroud. The launch site was designed to allow longer-range, high-altitude trajectories for intercept over WSMR. This facility has been used since 1996 to launch Hera, Army TACMS, and Patriot-as-a-Target vehicles.

Launch Complex 96

Launch Complex 96 is a remote target launch facility located on Ft. Wingate near Gallup, NM. The facility includes administrative offices, a missile assembly building, a launch control shelter, and a launch pad with retractable environmental shroud. The launch site was designed to launch long-range, high-altitude targets to simulate more realistic, ballistic threat trajectories for intercept over WSMR. The facility has been used since 1996 to launch single-stage STORM targets and two-stage Hera targets in support of the Terminal High Altitude Aerial Defense (THAAD) and Patriot missile development programs.


Lance Extended Range 4 is a Lance Target Missile System (LTMS) launch site located in the southern portion of the Range. The LER-4 launch site consists of three LMTS firing points and a protective berm for mobile control and instrumentation vans. The site is currently used to launch low-cost LTMS targets, single and dual target configuration, for tracking or intercept in support of the Patriot and Airborne Laser programs