SpaceX’s Falcon 9 spacecraft launched from the Kennedy Space Center on May 30th. This was the first spacecraft to take off from the Kennedy Space Center’s pad since the Space Shuttle Program was shut down in 2011.

The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service was on the front lines of this historic event. They provided an in-depth story and personal interviews with those present.

Hordes of people came to watch the historic liftoff, not to mention the thousands that watched it remotely. Among all these people, there was a small group watching with intense eyes, hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst. These people were the Air Force’s 58th Rescue Squadron’s Guardian Angels, out of Nellis Air Force Base.

These Guardian Angels are the Air Force’s elite Pararescuemen, better known as PJs. These personnel recovery experts were split up into three Space Flight Support Force teams — strategically located at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii — to support this very important space mission.