The ninth Wideband Global SATCOM satellite or WGS-9 created by Boeing aboard a Delta IV rocket finally got off the ground from Cape Canaveral Saturday night at 8:18 p.m. EDT to deliver a military communications satellite to orbit.
In a 20 year partnership with Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, the launch of WGS-9 was a major achievement. So it draws an important occasion for the Wideband constellation.
“This accomplishment is the result of the remarkable relationship with our international partners and our exemplary operations at the 45th Space Wing, 50th Space Wing, and industry,” said Mr. Bob Tarleton, director of Space and Missile Systems Center’s Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate. “Thanks to the astounding commitment, focus on the mission, and team work, we successfully launched the next satellite in the WGS satellite constellation.”
The mission exhibits the continued commitment from the Air Force to provide reliable and secure satellite communications around the world to U.S. forces and her allies.
WGS satellites play an essential role in the tactical and strategic adjustment of military operations. WGS-9 will notably improve the current WGS constellation with this launch by delivering increased communication capacity, as well as coverage. To do so, WGS-9 exploits a state-of-the-art channelizer that elevates the communication capacity by nearly 45% compared to the first seven WGS satellites.
Boeing will start on-orbit testing of WGS-9 over the next few months to verify its performance and prepare it for operational use. Ultimately, the U.S. Air Force’s 3rd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base is going to control the WGS-9 when it will enter operation in October 2017.