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Space Shuttle Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL) Sites

Zaragoza Air Base, Spain

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Satellite View of Zaragoza, SpainZaragoza AB was designated a TAL site in 1983 and is the primary TAL site for high-inclination launches. Until the U.S. Air Force pulled out in 1992, the base was a joint-use base with NATO-instrumented bombing range nearby. Today, the Zaragoza Spanish Air Force retains the base's status as a TAL site through cooperative agreements between the U.S. government (NASA) and the government of Spain, and between the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the Spanish Ministry of Defense.

Located northwest of the town of Zaragoza, the base has two parallel runways. The civilian airport runway designated 30R, is 9,923 feet by 197 feet. The Spanish Air Force runway, or shuttle runway, designated Runway 30L is 12,109 feet by 197 feet and has 1,000-foot overruns. It is equipped with shuttle-unique visual landing aids and a Microwave Landing System (MLS), a Tactical Air Control and Navigation (TACAN) system, a remote weather tower and a Shuttle Orbiter Arresting System (SOAS) or barrier net, located in the overrun of the runway.

Through the agreement negotiated between the U.S. and Spanish militaries, NASA has retained the sole use of a hangar complex that is used as the operations and storage building. A building operations and maintenance contractor, with a contract administered out of Moron AB, is permanently stationed at Zaragoza to maintain the NASA/DOD complex and associated ground support equipment.

Communications at Zaragoza include three INMARSAT satellite circuits and Spanish commercial telephone lines. Internet capability is available through a local Internet Service Provider.

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