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US Space Force prepares for astronaut rescue missions

22 May 2020, 18:00 UTC
US Space Force prepares for astronaut rescue missions
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An HC-130P of the 920th Rescue Wing, Image Credit: Matt Haskell/ Spaceflight Insider
The 45th Operational Group, Detachment 3 stands ready to rescue Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley in the event their missions ends in an unexpected abort.

It is known as the 45th Operational Group, Detachment 3, or Det 3. For years Det 3 has served as the rescuers for astronauts from land and sea in the event of a mission abort. Now, Det 3 comes back to life under a new command, and a new name. Task Force 45.
This military unit, part of the US Space Force’s 45th Space Wing, is based at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, just south of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and is responsible for rescuing astronauts from abort scenarios. Det 3 first saw usage during the Apollo program, maintaining the mission during shuttle and now prepares for Commercial Crew. Made up of command staff and special operations personnel and aircrew, the unit has trained for any scenario.
The reason for the change? The newly formed US Space Force. Previously, when activated, Det 3 fell under the command of the US Air Force Strategic Command. With the new branch, Det 3 becomes ...

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