45th Space Wing supports 6th SpaceX re-supply mission

  • Published
  • By 45th Space Wing Public Affairs Office
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 April 14.

The mission is SpaceX's fourth Falcon 9 launch of the year, and the company's sixth operational re-supply mission to the space station.

A combined team of military, government civilians and contractors from across the 45th SW provided support to the mission, including weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, safety and public affairs.

The Dragon spacecraft is filled with more than 4,300 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support about 40 of the more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 43 and 44, according to NASA.

Science payloads will study new ways to possibly counteract the microgravity-induced cell damage seen during spaceflight, the effects of microgravity on the most common cells in bones, gather new insight that could lead to treatments for osteoporosis and muscle wasting conditions. Studies will also include continued research into astronaut vision changes and test a new material that could one day be used as a synthetic muscle for robotics explorers of the future.

After five weeks at the space station, the spacecraft will return to Earth with more than 3,000 pounds of cargo, including crew supplies, hardware and computer resources, science experiments, and space station hardware. The spacecraft will splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja, California.

Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, the 45th SW commander, who also served as the launch decision authority for this mission, lauded the entire team effort.

"One mission at a time -- totally focused on our disciplined and safe process execution to ensure 100 percent mission success -- is how we do things here on the Eastern Range," Armagno said. "As always, all the credit goes to Team Patrick-Cape, NASA, SpaceX, and all the other mission partners who came together to make this mission happen. You continue to impress me and to do yourself proud."

The next launch on the Eastern Range Manifest is the Falcon 9 Thales mission, currently slated for liftoff April 24, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.