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Reserve Citizen Airmen support planet hunting mission

180418_F_XX111_001.JPGPATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
The 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, supported a successful SpaceX rocket launch out of Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., April 18.

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

The 920th RQW Chief of Safety and seasoned pilot, 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.