Rocket launch site

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A rocket launch site is a means for starting of missiles and provides one or more launchers and Startleitstände for controlling the start-up procedure is available. For liquid rocket also facilities for the storage and, where applicable, the production of are liquid fuels necessary.


Cape Canaveral - launch sites

A rocket launch site is built as far away as possible from human settlements in order to keep the danger to the population as low as possible in the event of an explosion. Usually a location by the sea is chosen because the sea represents an easily surveyed safety area for the safe demise of rocket parts.

Rocket launch sites, from which satellites and interplanetary spacecraft are launched, are also known as the spaceport . Facilities in the former sphere of influence of the Soviet Union and in China are referred to with the term cosmodrome. The best known rocket launch sites are Cape Canaveral in the USA, Baikonur in Kazakhstan (on the western edge of Asia) and Kourou in French Guiana (in eastern South America). There are also numerous lesser-known rocket launch sites.

In Europe, Esrange near Kiruna in Sweden and Salto di Quirra in Sardinia are the most important rocket launch sites.

Germany had three rocket launch sites in earlier decades:

Poland launched Meteor sounding rockets from military training areas near Łeba and Ustka in the 1970s .

Launch sites for orbital launch vehicles

Launch of a Falcon 1 over Omelek Island
A Zyklon 3 rocket takes off from Plesetsk

Under construction or in planning



see also : List of space stations

Launch sites for suborbital missiles

Currently active starting places in Europe (only suborbital)

Former starting places in Europe (only suborbital)

Further launch sites for suborbital missiles



Australia and Oceania

North America

South America


Regular launch sites for rockets with low peak heights (<10 km)

See also


  • Volkhard Bode, Gerhard Kaiser: Missile tracks. Peenemünde 1936–1996 - A historical report with current photos. Christoph Links, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-86153-112-7 .
  • Harald Lutz: The forgotten rocket experiments from Cuxhaven. Stars and Space 44 (3), 2005, ISSN  0039-1263 , pp. 40-45.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Mark Wade: Peenemuende in the Encyclopedia Astronautica (English), accessed on June 25, 2011.
  2. Mark Wade: Cuxhaven in the Encyclopedia Astronautica (English), accessed on June 25, 2011.
  3. Mark Wade: Zingst in the Encyclopedia Astronautica (English), accessed on June 25, 2011.