by 45th Space Wing
1/10/2015 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The
45th Space Wing supported Space Exploration Technologies' (SpaceX)
successful launch of their Falcon 9 Dragon spacecraft headed to the
International Space Station from Space Launch Complex 40 here Jan. 10
The mission, designated SpaceX CRS-5, is the fifth of 12 SpaceX flights
NASA contracted with the company to resupply the space station. It will
be the sixth trip by a Dragon spacecraft to the orbiting laboratory.
A combined team of military, government civilians and contractors from
across the 45th Space Wing provided support to the mission, including
weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, safety and
According to NASA, the science research aboard the Dragon includes the
Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS), which will characterize and
measure the worldwide distribution of clouds and aerosols -- the tiny
particles that make up haze, dust, air pollutants and smoke; model
organism research using fruit flies to study the biological effects of
spaceflight; and, a new study using flatworms to better understand wound
healing in space.
The Dragon spacecraft will remain attached to the space station's
Harmony module for more than four weeks and then splash down in the
Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Baja California, bringing with it almost
two tons of experiment samples and equipment from the station,
according to NASA.
Col. Shawn Fairhurst, 45th Space Wing Vice Commander, and the Eastern
Range's Launch Decision Authority for the mission, congratulated the
entire team for beginning the year with another successful launch.
"It was a team effort that made today's mission a success! I want to
thank our 45th Space Wing team, and congratulate our mission partners
from both Space X and NASA on today's launch," said Fairhurst.
"There is no such thing as a routine launch and today added a layer of
complexity, of which we have not seen before. In the past we have always
been responsible for maintaining positive control of the rocket on
ascent to orbit. Today, we not only managed what went up, but we also
managed what came back down, supporting SpaceX's efforts to certify the
flyback of the Falcon 9's first stage," he added.
"Team Patrick-Cape rose to meet the day's challenge, and started the new
year off right by delivering 100 percent mission success, just 10 days
into 2015. We will take today's momentum and use it as a foundational
building block toward executing 24-scheduled launches this year," he