A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft, launches from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard, May 30, at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The Demo-2 mission is the first launch with astronauts of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. The test flight serves as an end-to-end demonstration of SpaceX’s crew transportation system. A new era of human spaceflight is set to begin as American astronauts once again launch from American soil on an American rocket to low-Earth orbit for the first time since the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011. (NASA photo) (Photo Credit: NASA) VIEW ORIGINAL

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — For the first time in more than a decade, American astronauts launched into space from American soil on an American rocket, and the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command supported the historic mission.

A team from the Regional Satellite Communications Support Center-West, or RSSC-West, based on Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, processed the first U.S. Space Command satellite access request for UHF satellite communications to directly support this space mission.

RSSC-West, one of USASMDC's U.S. Army Satellite Operations Brigade's four RSSCs located around the world, provides around-the-clock satellite communications access for USSPACECOM requirements. Wideband and narrowband satellite communications planning is part of RSSC-West's daily mission in support of not just the Army, but all Department of Defense and federal agencies.

“RSSC-West provides supporting communications to several combatant commands and their service components to include USSPACECOM activities,” said Mike Chandanais, U.S. Army Satellite Operations Brigade deputy and director satellite communications. “This includes support to space launches.”

RSSC-West will ensure that essential satellite resources are available for beyond-line-of-sight communications for recovery assets positioned in the Atlantic Ocean from the U.S. east coast to Great Britain.

“Our role is to enable communications to various down-range sensors and groups such as the 45th Space Wing Ops Group who support emergency recovery support to all manned space launches,” said Chandanais.

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley flew SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, which lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket on May 30 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, for an extended stay at the International Space Station for the Demo-2 mission.