45th Space Wing supports Discovery launch
By Ken Warren, 45th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 23, 2007
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The U.S. Air Force's 45th Space Wing provided flawless support for NASA's successful launch of Space Shuttle Discovery today on the 23rd mission to the International Space Station. The launch occurred at 11:38 a.m. (EDT) from Space Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center.
The wing's support included providing weather forecasts, helping organize and train DoD contingency response forces and assuring a safe launch by tracking the vehicle with an array of radar, telemetry, communications and optical instrumentation via its Eastern Range.
"The Air Force's Eastern Range is a national treasure. It serves as our east coast flightline for assuring safe access to space for the shuttle and our expendable vehicles. Today's launch was our third major space launch within 13 days. Our launch team continues to prove it's the best in the world," said Brig. Gen. Susan Helms, 45th SW commander. "The Air Force/NASA partnership continues to reap huge benefits for our Nation. Nobody does space better."
The Eastern Range supported the launches of an Atlas V carrying the first Wideband Global SATCOM satellite Oct. 10 and a Delta II carrying a NAVSTAR Global Positioning System satellite Oct. 17. Discovery will deliver a connecting module that will increase the space station's interior space. Retired Air Force Col. Pamela Melroy is commanding the shuttle mission.