ULA Launches WGS-4 for the USAF on Delta-IV (5,4)

Air Force officials launch a United Launch Alliance Delta IV-Medium rocket carrying the fourth Wideband Global SATCOM satellite Jan. 19, 2012 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Wideband Global SATCOM provides anytime, anywhere communication for the warfighter through broadcast, multicast, and point to point connections. (U.S. Air Force photo/Patrick Corkery)

1/20/2012 – CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (AFNS) — Air Force officials launched an United Launch Alliance Delta IV-Medium rocket carrying the fourth Wideband Global SATCOM satellite Jan. 19 from Space Launch Complex 37 here.

WGS-04 is the first craft in the program’s upgraded Block 2 series, which adds a radio frequency bypass capability designed to support airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms requiring ultra-high bandwidth and data rates.

“The 45th Space Wing is proud to work this important Air Force launch of WGS-04 with Space and Missile Systems Center, United Launch Alliance and Boeing,” said Col. Rory Welch, the 45th Space Wing vice commander, who served as launch decision authority.

“We are honored to have worked closely with our Air Force and mission partners to enable today’s successful launch of the WGS-4 satellite,” said Jim Sponnick, the ULA vice president, Mission Operations. “WGS-4 will provide important capabilities to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines protecting our freedoms around the world. This mission begins the most aggressive launch campaign in the history of the EELV program, with nine national security and two NASA launches scheduled this year.”

This mission was launched aboard a Delta IV Medium-plus configuration vehicle using a ULA single common booster core powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68 main engine, along with four Alliant Techsystems GEM 60 solid rocket motors. The 5-meter diameter upper stage was powered by a PWR RL10B-2 engine with the satellite encapsulated in a 5-meter diameter composite payload fairing.

Wideband Global SATCOM provides anytime, anywhere communication for the warfighter through broadcast, multicast, and point to point connections. WGS is the only military satellite communications system that can support simultaneous X and Ka band communications.

The next Air Force launch from here is scheduled for February, when the Air Force will launch the first satellite of the Mobile User Objective System, which will provide enhanced capabilities for mobile military users. The wing will also support SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch for NASA in March.

“The bottom line is the Eastern Range continues to be busy with important launches and plays a vital role to our nation’s defense; the 45th Space Wing will continue to be the world’s premier gateway to space,” said Brig. Gen. Anthony Cotton, the 45th Space Wing commander.

(Courtesy of the 45th Space Wing Public Affairs.)

PRESS RELEASE

Jan. 19, 2012, 9:07 p.m. EST

United Launch Alliance Delta IV Rocket Successfully Launches U.S. Air Force’s Wideband Global SATCOM-4 (WGS-4) Satellite

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., Jan. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket carrying the Wideband Global SATCOM-4 (WGS-4) satellite for the United States Air Force lifted off from Space Launch Complex-37 here at 7:38 p.m. EST today. This is ULA’s first launch of the year and marked the 18th launch of the Delta IV vehicle.

“We are honored to have worked closely with our Air Force and mission partners to enable today’s successful launch of the WGS-4 satellite. WGS-4 will provide important capabilities to the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines protecting our freedoms around the world,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Mission Operations. “This mission begins the most aggressive launch campaign in the history of the EELV program, with nine national security and two NASA launches scheduled this year.”

This mission was launched aboard a Delta IV Medium-plus configuration vehicle using a ULA single common booster core powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68 main engine, along with four Alliant Techsystems GEM 60 solid rocket motors. The five-meter diameter upper stage was powered by a PWR RL10B-2 engine with the satellite encapsulated in a five-meter diameter composite payload fairing.

“WGS was the first of the new constellation of satellites to integrate and launch on both the Delta IV and Atlas V vehicles — the first two on Atlas and now, with WGS-4, the second one on our Delta IV launch system,” said Sponnick. “Our ability to integrate and launch satellites successfully and efficiently on two launch systems to provide operational flexibility was a primary reason that ULA was formed.”

Wideband Global SATCOM provides anytime, anywhere communication for the warfighter through broadcast, multicast, and point to point connections. 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 launch of the United States Navy’s Mobile User Objective System-1 (MUOS-1), scheduled for Feb. 16, 2012 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

ULA program management, engineering, test, and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., and Harlingen, Texas. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

For more information on ULA, visit the ULA Web site at www.ulalaunch.com , or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321).

SOURCE United Launch Alliance

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