Delta IV Daunts with Friday Night Lights Carrying 10th Air Force WGS Tactical Comsat on Spectacular 2nd to Last Liftoff: Photos

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket carrying the WGS-10 mission
for the U.S. Air Force lifts off from Space Launch Complex-37 at 8:26 p.m. ET

on
March 15, 2019 from Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station, FL – as birds flutter in this remote camera photo from the
launch pad
.  Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com 
Ken Kremer  SpaceUpClose.com &
RocketSTEM
–16 March 2019

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL – The United LaunchAlliance Delta IV rocket put on a daunting display of ‘Friday Night Lights’ firepower
carrying the powerful new WGS-10 military satellite to orbit for the U.S. Air
Force providing critical real time tactical battlefield communications between troops
deployed in the field and commanders and analysts monitoring from across the
globe. 

The delayed but dazzling blastoff of the Wideband
Global SATCOM-10 (WGS-10) mission for the U.S. Air Force finally took place at 8:26
p.m. EDT on Friday, Mar. 15, 2019 from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. 



A
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.  



With
time running out in the launch window closing at 9:05 p.m. engineers finally
resolved all the issues and cleared the rocket for launch with a countdown poll
and approval from the ULA launch director.



This launch was not to be missed and a sentimental favorite
because this member of the Delta rocket family is nearing the end of its glorious
16 year life – because it counts as the penultimate Delta IV medium class
rocket as it soared aloft from Cape Canaveral with the mighty military
communications satellite for the U.S. Air Force, at dinnertime Friday night. 



Enjoy
our expanding Space UpClose gallery of eyewitness imagery from the Range Operation
Center on base and sound activated remote cameras placed inside the Launch Complex
37 perimeter. 
Long exposure streak shot of ULA Delta IV
rocket carrying WGS-10 mission for the U.S. Air Force as it soars to orbit and
arcs over eastwards from Space Launch Complex-37 at 8:26 p.m. ET

on
March 15, 2019 from Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station, FL – with photographers in the foreground.
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com 
A key
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.



WGS-10
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
Ka-band spectra.



UpClose view of the first stage engines on
the
ULA Delta IV
rocket including the liquid fueled RS-68 and four solid rocket motors moments
after liftoff of the WGS-10 mission for the U.S. Air Force from Space Launch
Complex-37 at 8:26 p.m. ET
on
March 15, 2019 from Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station, FL – in this remote camera photo from the launch pad
.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com 


Weather
conditions were absolutely ideal for the large crowds of spectators gathered ringing
around the Florida Space Coast.



The Delta IV launched
eastward over the Atlantic Ocean and put on a stunning sky show under picture perfect
nighttime weather conditions. 



Tourists from the across
the globe flocked to the Kennedy Space center area filling hotels and restaurants
thereby providing a much needed ‘space boost’ to the local ‘space coast’ economy.



Beaches and parks were packed
with excited spectators from near and far who got a great and long show of
awesome rocket power.

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket carrying the WGS-10 mission
for the U.S. Air Force lifts off from Space Launch Complex-37 at 8:26 p.m. ET

on
March 15, 2019 from Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station, FL – in this remote camera photo from the launch pad
.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com 

The next-to-last Delta IV Medium from the 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. 



WGS-10 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.  



“Our satellites
help ensure our military personnel have communications capability anytime and
anywhere in the world,” said Rico Attanasio, director of Tactical Military
Satellite Communications Programs, part of Boeing’s Space and Launch business,
in a statement. “We also look forward to our continued partnership with the Air
Force as we expand the WGS fleet.”




WGS-10

WGS-10
was d
elivered to an initial supersynchronous
transfer orbit
atop the ULA Delta IV Medium+ rocket.  



This
marks the 38th launch of the Delta IV rocket. 



The 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. 



The common booster
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. 



Overall
the first stage provides approximately 1.8 million pounds of thrust. 



The is
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. 



The prior
WGS-9 mission launched on March 18, 2017. 



ULA has been the exclusive launch provider for all ten satellites
in the WGS constelation. 



We are very proud to deliver this critical
asset to orbit in support of the U.S. and Allied warfighters deployed around
the world defending our national security,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice
president of Government and Commercial Programs, in a statement. 


“Thank you to the entire ULA team and mission partners for their
outstanding teamwork and dedication to mission success.”

The
Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) system, developed by the Boeing Company, provides
wideband communications connectivity for U.S. and allied warfighters around the
world. 

With todays liftoff ULA has a track record of 100% mission success with 133
successful launches since the company’s founding in 2006 as a joint venture of
Lockheed Martin and Boeing. 

WGS-10 and her four sisters in the upgraded Block 2
series are the most powerful US
Air Force military
communications satellite ever built. 

To date
the entire WGS constellation has been launched by ULA on Delta IV medium
rockets. 

It is
the tenth satellite in the WGS constellation that serves as the backbone of the U.S. military’s global satellite
communications. 

“WGS provides flexible, high-capacity communications for the
Nation’s warfighters through procurement and operation of the satellite
constellation and the associated control systems,” according to the U.S. Air
Force. 

“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, international partners, and
other special users.” 
ULA Delta IV Medium class rocket poised for
liftoff on WGS-10 mission for the U.S. Air Force from Space Launch Complex-37
on March 15, 2019 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com 

The
final not to be missed launch of the Delta IV Medium rocket
is currently slated for 25 July 2019 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
carrying the GPS 3 SV02 navigation satellite payload to orbit for the U.S. Air Force.



The vehicle
will launch in the Delta IV Medium+ 4,2 configuration with a 4-meter
(13.1-foot) diameter payload fairing and 2 solid rocket boosters to augment the
first stage.  



ULA is
retiring the Delta IV Medium because it is significantly more expensive to
produce compared to the Atlas V and not competitive in the marketplace compared
to SpaceX.



ULA is
developing the new Vulcan Centaur rocket to replace both Delta IV and
eventually Atlas V. 



ULA
will continue to fly the triple stick Delta IV Heavy with 5 launches on the
books at this time – all highly classified
for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) blasting off from both Cape
Canaveral and Vandenberg AFBs. 



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 Facility, Virginia.
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 space
topics.



………….

Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events



Learn more about the upcoming/recent ULA Delta 4 WGS-10, SpaceX Demo-1, Falcon 9 Nusantara Satu launch, USAF GPS 3-01, SpaceX Falcon 9/CRS-16 launch
to ISS,  NASA missions, ULA Atlas &
Delta launches, SpySats and more at Ken’s upcoming outreach events at Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center, Titusville,
FL, evenings: 



Mar
16
: “ULA Delta 4 WGS-10
launch, SpaceX Falcon 9 Demo-1 and
Nusantara Satu launch, Dragon CRS-16 resupply launch to ISS, SpaceX
Falcon GPS 3-01, SpaceX Falcon Heavy & Falcon 9 launches, upcoming SpaceX
Falcon 9 USAF GP3 3-01, NRO & USAF Spysats, SLS, Orion, Boeing and SpaceX
Commercial crew capsules, OSIRIS-Rex, Juno at Jupiter, InSight Mars lander, Curiosity
and Opportunity explore Mars, NH at Pluto, Kuiper Belt and more,” Kennedy Space
Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL, evenings.
Photos for sale



Ken’s
upcoming talks:


Apr 3: “Exploring
Mars; The Search for Life & A Journey in 3-D.”  7 PM, Lawton C
Johnson
Middle School, Summit, NJ: exploringlifeonmars.eventbrite.com

ULA Delta IV Medium class rocket poised for
liftoff on WGS-10 mission for the U.S. Air Force from Space Launch Complex-37
on March 15, 2019 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com 

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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