Historic towers at Cape Canaveral launch pad demolished

Cape Canaveral

Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th Space Wing Commander, demolished the almost 200-foot-tall towers at 7 a.m. July 12 at Space Launch Complex 17, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

"Fire in the hole!" announced Brig.

In 2004 the first probe to orbit Mercury was also launched from the complex.

The demolition was triggered around 7 a.m.by the Commander of the Air Force 45th Space Wing.

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Known as LC-17, it hosted launches of the Delta and Thor rockets from the late 1950s until 2011.

The $2 million demolition project had been in the works since then.

Those towers helped to launch several high-profile NASA missions over the years, including the Pioneer probes and the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers.

The almost 60-metre-tall towers came tumbling down after explosives were activated, sending them falling in opposite directions at the US Air Force base in Florida.

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One more Delta II launch remains, planned this September from California.

According to Space Flight Now, the launch pads were built more than six decades ago.

The complex, and its towers, was originally built in 1956 for use with the PGM-17 Thor missile, the first operational ballistic missile the USA possessed, according to NASA.

The Air Force is making way for the complex's new tenant, private company Moon Express. Download the 10News app now.

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