RocketSTEM –20 March 2019
CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL – The United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket was
absolutely dazzling during Friday’s nighttime blastoff delivering the WGS-10 broadband
satellite to orbit on March 15 for the U.S. Air Force – enhancing the established
constellation that serves as the backbone of critical communications between commanders
and troops across the continents.
The Wideband Global SATCOM-10 (WGS-10) mission
for the U.S. Air Force finally lifted off at 8:26 p.m. EDT on Friday, Mar. 15,
2019 from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
series of technical issues with the rocket and problems with the orbiting NASA TDRS
relay tracking satellite postponed the liftoff an hour and a half from the
originally planned near sunset launch time of 6:56 p.m. EDT.
our expanding Space UpClose gallery of eyewitness photos and videos from the
Range Operation Center on base and sound activated remote cameras placed inside
the Launch Complex 37 perimeter.
Florida Space Coast successfully deployed the tenth Wideband
Global SATCOM (WGS) communications satellite (WGS-10) for the U.S. Air Force
approximately 37 minutes after liftoff.
is on its way to a designated but undisclosed slot to geostationary orbit some 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) above the equator.
WGS-10 is the tenth satellite in the Wideband Global SATCOM
(WGS) constellation for the U.S. Air Force providing critical global military communications.
Boeing is the prime contractor for the massive
13,200-pound (6,000-kilogram) WGS
satellites – each costing some $400+ million.
feature in this advanced Block II series WGS satellite is inclusion of the
upgraded digital channelizer that nearly doubles the available bandwidth of
earlier satellites in the series.
can filter and downlink up to 8.088 GHz of bandwidth compared to 4.410 GHz for
earlier WGS satellites. It supports communications links in the X-band and
from a remote video camera stationed at pad 37:
communications satellite on United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket on Mar. 15, 2019, at 8:26 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 37 at
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida – as seen in this
remote camera video taken at the pad. Credit: Ken
marks the 38th launch of the Delta IV rocket.
218 foot tall Delta IV Medium+ rocket launched in the 5,4
configuration with a 5 meter diameter payload fairing and 4 solid rocket
boosters to augment the first stage. Northrop Grumman provided the four solid rocket motors.
core for Delta IV is powered by the RS-68A main engine fueled by liquid oxygen
and RP-1 kerosene, and the Delta Cryogenic Second Stage is powered by the
RL10B-2 engine, both supplied by Aerojet Rocketdyne.
the first stage provides approximately 1.8 million pounds of thrust.
the eighth Delta IV flight in the Medium+ (5,4) configuration; all of which
were used to launch the prior WGS missions. See our photos.
Watch for Ken’s
continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin,
Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from the Kennedy
Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and Wallops Flight
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and
Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer
– email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the
KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about
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