US Delta IV rocket launches powerful military satellite
A total of 10 satellites are planned for WGS, so the constellation will be almost complete.
"This very successful cooperative effort, along with the US and Australia cooperative effort for WGS-6, enhances the foundation for long-term cooperation in military satellite communications and has been very effective in promoting increased interoperability among our strategic allies".
The satellites are used by The White House, the State Department and all branches of the US military.
After it reaches the space, this satellite will join the other eight that are already part of the constellation and will offer the U.S. military one of the best communications service.
In exchange for part-time use of the WGS network, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and New Zealand picked up the $442 million bill to manufacture WGS-9.
"WGS provides worldwide flexible, high data rate and long haul communications for marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen, the White House Communication Agency, the US State Department, global partners, and other special users". Four solid rocket motors were expected to help Delta IV vault the $424 million satellite to orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 37.
WGS-9 was delivered to a supersynchronous transfer orbit atop the ULA Delta IV Medium+ rocket. The satellite launching tonight, called WGS-9, will eventually join the other eight probes in a high orbit above Earth known as geostationary orbit. Built by Space Systems Loral, the satellite is created to operate for at least 15 years.
The Boeing Co. was awarded the first contract to develop the WGS system, which initially proposed two satellites, in 2001. With one more satellite in production, the WGS constellation is planned to have a total of 10 satellites on orbit by 2019.
The ULA made its 35th successful Delta 4 flight, 118th in a row overall.