Reserve Citizen Airmen support planet hunting mission

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launching out of Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, April 18. (Courtesy SpaceX)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launching out of Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, April 18. (Courtesy SpaceX)

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing support the successful launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 Heavy launch February 7, 2018.

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing support the successful launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 Heavy launch February 7, 2018. Before the majority of Space Coast rocket launches, aviator Airmen from the wing's 301st Rescue Squadron take off from Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, hours prior to the launch in HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters to provide aerial surveillance and clear the launch hazard area, an area considered potentially unsafe for marine traffic in the event of a launch anomaly. (Courtesy photo by Julia Bergeron)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The 920th Rescue Wing supported a successful SpaceX rocket launch out of Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, April 18.

 

The Air Force Reserve unit, from Patrick Air Force Base, is regularly tasked with clearing the area surrounding the Space Coast launch sites, ensuring safety and security during Space Coast launches.

Seasoned pilot and 920th RQW Chief of Safety, Lt. Col Bruce Schuman, flew the HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter used to clear the Eastern Range. Schuman said the mission went very well because of extensive preparation and ideal weather conditions.

“It’s a very important mission for the Reserve because it keeps the public safe,” Schuman said. “This was an unmanned flight, but eventually there will be manned spaceflights again and we look forward to supporting those as well.”

According to SpaceX’s website, the Falcon 9 rocket propelled NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which is expected to find new planets ranging in size and structure.