NY Air National Guard Supports Final Shuttle Mission
mission and bail out of the spacecraft.
(NASA photo by Dick Clark)
ROME, N.Y. (7/11/11) -- New York Air National Guard members, working with the Eastern Air Defense Sector, supported the launch of NASA's final space shuttle mission June 8.
An HC-130 Hercules and pararescue jumpers assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing were on hand at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. to provide rescue support if Atlantis astronauts had been forced to abort the mission and bail out of the spacecraft.
EADS primary role was controlling air patrols that enforced the Federal Aviation Administration's temporary no-fly zone around the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
"It's been an honor for EADS to support the space shuttle program and to have played a small role in the nation's space exploration," said Air Force Col. John Bartholf, EADS Commander.
Officially known as STS-135 (Space Transportation System), Friday's launch of the space shuttle Atlantis was the 33rd flight for the ship, which first went into space on Oct. 3, 1985.
Atlantis is scheduled to return to Earth on July 20 and then be retired to serve as the centerpiece of a new exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Other retired space shuttles will be on display at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va.; the California Science Center in Los Angeles, and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City.
Staffed by active-duty New York Air National Guardsmen and a Canadian Forces detachment, EADS supports the North American Aerospace Defense Command's integrated warning and attack assessment missions and the U.S. Northern Command's homeland defense mission.
EADS is responsible for air sovereignty and counter-air operations over the eastern U.S. and directs a variety of assets to defend one million square miles of land and sea.