Air Force Supports SpaceX Launch

Airmen from Patrick AFB, Fla., supported Space Explorations Technologies’ first successful commercial Falcon 9 rocket launch at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station last week. The Dec. 3 launch of the SES-8 communications satellite is the second of three certification flights needed to certify Falcon 9 to fly missions for the Air Force under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. It also was the first commercial launch from Cape Canaveral in more than four years, states a base release. Airmen from the 45th Space Wing provided weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, and other support while airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing patrolled the area around the launch zone “to ensure boaters [were] a safe distance from potentially falling debris,” states an AFRC release. “It’s gratifying to see a varied, high-performing team like this come together time and time again,” said Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, 45th SW commander. “We are truly grateful for the outstanding space team we have here on the space coast.”