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Citizen Airmen support SpaceX rocket launch, enjoy view

Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, provided range-clearance and contingency support for the successful launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch.  Falcon 9 lifted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, July 5, at 7:38 p.m. EDT.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Mark Borosch)

Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, provided range-clearance and contingency support for the successful launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch. Falcon 9 lifted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, July 5, at 7:38 p.m. EDT. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Mark Borosch)

Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, provided range-clearance and contingency support for the successful launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch.  Falcon 9 lifted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, July 5, at 7:38 p.m. EDT.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Mark Borosch)

Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, provided range-clearance and contingency support for the successful launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch. Falcon 9 lifted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, July 5, at 7:38 p.m. EDT. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Mark Borosch)

Team rescue was out in full force over the 4th of July holiday weekend flying range clearing support for several SpaceX attempts to launch a Falcon 9 rocket.

Finally, on its third attempt, SpaceX successfully lifted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, July 5, at 7:38 p.m. EDT.

“It was a clear night. Not a lot of boat traffic on the water,” said Maj. Jay Goetz, 301st Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk pilot and Director of Current Operations, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. “We went up and cleared the range.”

The rocket delivered Intelsat 35e, a commercial communications satellite, to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit.

Goetz described his view while airborne in an HH-60 just north of pad 39B as, “The best seat in the house.”

Rescue Wing Airmen serve to clear the Eastern Range during a majority of Space Coast rocket launches.

The satellite was deployed approximately 32 minutes after launch and the customer has confirmed signal acquisition.