Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

Delta IV Rocket Launch Commemorates Air Force 70th Anniversary

Delta IV Rocket Launch Commemorates Air Force 70th Anniversary

It'll mark the first Delta IV launch of 2017, and the seventh launch of a certain configuration of the rocket known as the Medium+ (5,4).

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) said it had launched a Delta IV carrier rocket with the ninth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-9) military communications satellite for the US Air Force from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Saturday. "WGS-9 is among the most capable military communication satellites on orbit today".

The spent stage then fell away and the second stage RL10B-2 engine, also built by Aerojet Rocketdyne, ignited and fired for another 15-and-a-half minutes to put the vehicle and its satellite payload into a preliminary elliptical orbit.

WGS satellites are an important element of a new high-capacity satellite communications system providing enhanced communications capability to troops in the field. The WGS-9 satellite will be able filter and downlink up to 8.088 GHz of bandwidth. The Delta IV will take off from Launch Complex 37. This mission demonstrates the Air Force's continued commitment to deliver secure and reliable satellite communications around the globe to US forces and her allies.

The ULA is a joint venture owned by Lockheed Martin and the Boeing Company.

One more WGS satellite will be launched late next year, the tenth member of a constellation replacing older Defense Satellite Communication System spacecraft.

The eighth, ninth and tenth WGS satellites include upgraded digital channelizers that almost double the available bandwidth of earlier satellites in the series. It brings together two of the launch industry's most experienced and successful teams - Atlas and Delta - to provide reliable, cost-efficient space launch services for the United States government.

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