A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket successfully launched the seventh Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) communications satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 8:07 p.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex-37. This is ULA’s seventh launch in 2015 and the second successful ULA launch in just eight days. Today marks ULA’s 98th successful one-at-a-time launch since the company was formed in December 2006.
“Kudos to the Air Force and all of our mission partners on today’s successful launch and orbital delivery of the WGS-7 satellite. The ULA team is honored to work with these premier U.S. government and industry mission teammates and to contribute to the WGS enhanced communications capabilities to the warfighter,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs. “The team continues to emphasize reliability, and one launch at a time focus on mission success to meet our customer’s needs.”
This mission was launched aboard a Delta IV Medium-plus (5,4) configuration Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) using a single ULA common booster core powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A main engine, along with four Orbital ATK GEM-60 solid rocket motors. The upper stage was powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10B-2 engine with the satellite encapsulated in a five-meter-diameter composite payload fairing.
Wideband Global SATCOM provides anytime, anywhere communication for the warfighter through broadcast, multicast and point to point connections. WGS provides essential communications services, allowing Combatant Commanders to exert command and control of their tactical forces, from peace time to military operations. WGS is the only military satellite communications system that can support simultaneous X and Ka band communications.
ULA's next launch is the Atlas V MUOS-4 mission for the United States Navy, scheduled for August 31 from Space Launch Complex-41 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The EELV program was established by the United States Air Force to provide assured access to space for Department of Defense and other government payloads. The commercially developed EELV program supports the full range of government mission requirements, while delivering on schedule and providing significant cost savings over the heritage launch systems.
With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 95 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.
Source: United Launch Alliance
Date: Jul 24, 2015