White Sands Space Harbor

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White Sands Space Harbor (WSSH) was the primary training area used by NASA for Space Shuttle pilots flying practice approaches and landings in the Shuttle Training Aircraft and T-38 Talon aircraft.

The WSSH runway facilities are located in Alkali Flats, a site formerly known as Northrup Strip. Its runways, navigational aids, runway lighting, and control facilities also stood continuously ready as a backup Shuttle landing site.

WSSH is a part of the White Sands Test Facility, and is located approximately 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Alamogordo, New Mexico, within the boundaries of the White Sands Missile Range.


The north-south runway simulates the runway at Kennedy Space Center, the east-west runway simulates Edwards Air Force Base, the shorter runway simulates transatlantic abort landing sites at Ben Guerir, Moron, and Istrus.

  • RW 17/35: 11000x91m, Dry Lakebed, Shuttle certified
  • RW 05/23: 11000x91m, Dry Lakebed, Shuttle certified
  • RW 02/02: 3900x46m, Dry Lakebed

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