Launch Complex 11 is the first of four launch pads built on ICBM Road and sits at the southern most end. LC-11 through LC-14 were built to test and fly Atlas rockets.
The mission SCORE (Signal Communications Orbit Relay Equipment) was launched form LC-11 on December 8th 1958. SCORE was the world’s first communications satellite to be launched into space, and as such can be regarded as the great-grandfather of all communications satellites in orbit now.
Project SCORE had two objectives: prove that the Atlas platform could launch payloads into Earth orbit; and to demonstrate the practicality of broadcasting from a ground station through the atmosphere to the satellite and then relaying that signal back to other ground stations around the world.
Looking at the structure of LC-11 the evolution of the launch complex becomes apparent. Indeed running up the coast all the complexes from LC-11 to LC-14 are similar but show signs of evolution. LC-11 was the most primitive of the series and LC-14 the most advanced.
Little remains of the LC-11 launch pad now other than the concrete base. The base is interesting in that we start to see the pads being slightly more permanent and having features such as water channeling. The drainage channel continues over 100 yards into the scrub where it appears to enter a ditch. From the historical aerial photo we can identify that there was a permanent gantry on the pad.