8 September 2014
The Falcon 9 topped with the SpaceX fairing is 224.4 feet (68.4 meters) tall and 12 feet in diameter (the fairing is 17 feet in diameter). Its nine first-stage Merlin engines generate 1.3 million pounds of thrust at sea level, rising to 1.5 million pounds of thrust as Falcon 9 climbs out of the Earth's atmosphere.
A combined team of military members, government civilians and contractors from Team Patrick-Cape provided vital launch support to the SpaceX mission, including weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, safety and public affairs.
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A company-grade officer assigned to the 45th Space Wing takes her role in the launch most seriously.
"It is an exciting time to be part of the 45th Space Wing," said Capt. Marcianna Pease, 1st Range Operations Squadron, who served as a Range Operations Commander for this mission. "I am honored to support Eastern Range launch operations in addition to supporting innovative companies who are paving the way for future space initiatives, such as SpaceX.
"Launching safely is one of my biggest responsibilities as a Range Control Officer and I would not be able to complete these actions without the support and inputs from the launch team," Pease said.
"The Range Control Officer keeps me informed of any range instrumentation issues and the Mission Flight Control Officer (MFCO) keeps me informed of any flight safety issues," Pease added. "Compiling this information and providing it to the Launch Decision Authority helps her make the crucial final clear-to-launch decisions."
Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, 45th Space Wing commander, applauded the heroic efforts of Team Patrick-Cape.
"Most people only see the 'end-product' of a mission when we launch, which we do better than any space wing in the world," Armagno said.
"But I also want to recognize all the hard work that goes into each and every mission that is done months and months in advance -- almost always behind-the-scenes -- that leads to all our successful missions," she said.
"So once again I want to thank SpaceX and all our mission partners who contributed to this successful mission, while reminding everyone once again that the Space Coast is indeed the World's Premier Gateway to Space," she said.