The 45th Space Wing supported Space Exploration Technologies’ successful launch of their Falcon 9 rocket carrying six second-generation ORBCOMM communications satellites July 14, from Space Launch Complex 40, here.
The rocket flew in the Falcon 9 v1.1 configuration with upgraded Merlin 1D engines, stretched fuel tanks, and a payload fairing.
A combined team of military members, government civilians and contractors from the 45th SW provided vital launch support to the mission, including weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, safety, and public affairs.
"The 45th Space Wing is proud of what we do here on the space coast, and we couldn't do what we do without the support of our entire team," said Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, the 45th SW commander, who also served as the launch decision authority for the launch.
According to ORBCOMM, the next generation OG2 satellites have advanced communication technologies and are significantly larger with an "X Factor" that makes them even more powerful, efficient and cutting edge.
Built by Sierra Nevada Corporation, the 170 kilogram satellites will provide a much needed boost in their service capacity. Another will be launched later in 2014.
Each OG2 satellite is the equivalent of six OG1 satellites, providing quicker service, enhancing coverage at higher latitudes, and allowing for larger message sizes and increased data rates, officals reported.