CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (AFNS) --
The 45th Space Wing supported NASA's successful launch of Orbital ATK CRS-4, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket to the International Space Station from Space Launch Complex 41, Dec. 6.
This will be the first flight of an enhanced Cygnus spacecraft to the ISS. Orbital ATK's fourth contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the ISS will deliver more than 7,000 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew.
"I am proud of the integrated team who made our 16th launch of the year successful," said Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, the 45th SW commander, who also served as the launch decision authority. "Additionally, the launch of this mission clearly demonstrates the successful collaboration our wing has with our partners at NASA Kennedy Space Center, the Space and Missile Systems Center and industry. Together we've shared a remarkable history of space exploration lasting more than half a century. In fact, since July 1950 this United Launch Alliance/Orbital ATK mission represents launch number 3,522 for this team. Our launch success today proves how decades of professional collaboration between the 45th SW, NASA, SMC, ULA and all of our other mission partners continues to shape the future of America's space operations. We are the world's premier gateway to space."
According to NASA, the Cygnus spacecraft will carry hardware and supplies to support dozens of the approximately 250 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 45 and 46.
Before any spacecraft can launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, a combined team of military, government civilians and contractors from across the 45th SW provide the mission assurance to ensure a safe and successful liftoff for their range customers.
Eastern Range instrumentation provides radar tracking, telemetry, communications, command/control sites, camera and optical sites, and other support capabilities such as meteorology. Instrumentation is necessary to safely and successfully conduct civil, commercial, and national security spacelift operations and ballistic missile tests and evaluation.