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45th Space Wing Airmen support NASA's successful launch

3/11/2008 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (AFPN) -- With support from Airmen with the 45th Space Wing, Space Shuttle Endeavour blasted off safely from Kennedy Space Center March 11 at 2:28 a.m. (EDT), starting NASA's 25th mission to the International Space Station.

The 45th SW's support included providing weather forecasts, helping organize and train Department of Defense contingency response forces and assuring a safe launch by tracking the vehicle with an array of radar, telemetry, communications and optical instrumentation via its Eastern Range.

"Today's launch gets this mission off to a great beginning. It's the second shuttle launch we've supported in about a month, which points out how robust our Eastern Range is and what a fantastic launch team we have here at the Cape," said Brig. Gen. Susan Helms, 45th SW commander. "The Air Force is certainly proud of the role it's playing in helping NASA build the space station."

The primary objective of the STS-123 mission is to deliver the Japanese Kibo Logistics Module and the Canadian Dextre robotics system to the International Space Station. Col. Gregory H. Johnson will serve as pilot. Mission specialists include Maj. Robert L. Behnken. The mission will also deliver NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman to the complex and return European Space Agency astronaut Léopold Eyharts to Earth.

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