Science and Technology News

Monday, September 8, 2014

SpaceX launches AsiaSat 6 satellite from Complex 40 at 'The Cape'

by 45th Space Wing
Public Affairs Office


9/8/2014 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The 45th Space Wing supported Space Exploration Technologies' (SpaceX) successful launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the AsiaSat 6 satellite here from Space Launch Complex 40 at 1 a.m. EDT Sept. 7.

The Falcon 9 topped with the SpaceX fairing is 224.4 feet (68.4 meters) tall and 12 feet in diameter (the fairing is 17 feet in diameter). Its nine first-stage Merlin engines generate 1.3 million pounds of thrust at sea level, rising to 1.5 million pounds of thrust as Falcon 9 climbs out of the Earth's atmosphere.

A combined team of military members, government civilians and contractors from Team Patrick-Cape provided vital launch support to the SpaceX mission, including weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, safety and public affairs.

AsiaSat provides services to more than 710 million TV households across the Asia-Pacific region, including international, regional and national broadcasters, news agencies, telecommunications and broadband services providers, as well as corporations and governments for satellite-based networks.

A company-grade officer assigned to the 45th Space Wing takes her role in the launch most seriously.

"It is an exciting time to be part of the 45th Space Wing," said Capt. Marcianna Pease, 1st Range Operations Squadron, who served as a Range Operations Commander for this mission. "I am honored to support Eastern Range launch operations in addition to supporting innovative companies who are paving the way for future space initiatives, such as SpaceX.

"Launching safely is one of my biggest responsibilities as a Range Control Officer and I would not be able to complete these actions without the support and inputs from the launch team," Pease said.

"The Range Control Officer keeps me informed of any range instrumentation issues and the Mission Flight Control Officer (MFCO) keeps me informed of any flight safety issues," Pease added. "Compiling this information and providing it to the Launch Decision Authority helps her make the crucial final clear-to-launch decisions."

Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, 45th Space Wing commander, applauded the heroic efforts of Team Patrick-Cape.

"Most people only see the 'end-product' of a mission when we launch, which we do better than any space wing in the world," Armagno said.

"But I also want to recognize all the hard work that goes into each and every mission that is done months and months in advance -- almost always behind-the-scenes -- that leads to all our successful missions," she said.

"So once again I want to thank SpaceX and all our mission partners who contributed to this successful mission, while reminding everyone once again that the Space Coast is indeed the World's Premier Gateway to Space," she said.

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