The son of the F-15 pilot who made the first successful anti-satellite shot for the 1985 Celestial Eagle Flight got to fly his father’s F-15, which now belongs to the Florida Air National Guard’s 125th Fighter Wing. SrA. Erik Hofmeyer reports that Air Guardsman SSgt. Aaron Harley, with the 125th FW’s Det. 1 at Homestead ARB, Fla., was the inspiration for this historic remembrance flight. The 1985 Eagle pilot is now-retired Maj. Gen. Doug Pearson. His son is active duty F-15 pilot, Capt. Todd Pearson, stationed at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.