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Satnews Daily
January 19th, 2015

U.S.A.F. + SpaceX...A Dragon Launches CATS Into Space 

[SatNews] Wing reservists supported the successful launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule from Space Launch Complex 40 at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 4:47 a.m January 10.

The Dragon capsule contains supplies bound for the International Space Station, which is orbiting more than 200 miles above the Earth's surface. The cargo includes research materials and scientific experiments, as well as food.

Also onboard is the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS), "...a laser instrument designed to measure clouds and the location and distribution of pollution, dust, smoke and other particles in the atmosphere," according to the Kennedy Space Center website.

Hours before launch, two wing HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters took off from Patrick AFB to patrol the Eastern Range, the 70-mile long by 10-mile wide swath of ocean extending east from the Cape that must be cleared of all air and marine traffic prior to every launch to ensure boaters are a safe distance from possible debris falling from the rocket.

The 920th performs combat search and rescue as its primary mission, which includes rescuing servicemembers trapped and or wounded behind enemy lines.

Additionally, the wing is responsible for civil search and rescue, humanitarian relief and support of rocket launches. To date, the unit has saved more than 4,000 lives, both in peacetime and combat.