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The Northrup Strip at White Sands Missile Range was the landing site for STS-3. The strip, which was renamed in 1982 to White Sands Space Harbor, is located between the San Andres Mountains on the west and the Sacramento Mountains on the east. This area is known as Alkali Flats, which is part of the now-dry Lake Otero, a lake that filled the bottom of the Tularosa Basin during the last ice age. The area provides “excellent margins of safety” on the compacted salt and gypsum. (photo courtesy of 49th Wing History Office)


Northrup Strip landing proud moment

The Northrup Strip at White Sands Missile Range was the landing site for STS-3. The strip, which was renamed in 1982 to White Sands Space Harbor, is located between the San Andres Mountains on the west and the Sacramento Mountains on the east. This area is known as Alkali Flats, which is part of the now-dry Lake Otero, a lake that filled the bottom of the Tularosa Basin during the last ice age. The area provides “excellent margins of safety” on the compacted salt and gypsum. (photo courtesy of 49th Wing History Office)

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