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 at 4:10 p.m. EDT.
Today’s 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 Space Wing 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, continue studies 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, space station hardware – and then splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.
Maj. Gen. (Sel.) Nina Armagno, 45th Space Wing commander, who also served as the Launch Decision Authority for this mission, lauded the entire team effort.
Source:: Air Force Space Command