Headlines > News > ULA Set to Launch 36th Mission in 36 Months: Delta IV WGS-3

ULA Set to Launch 36th Mission in 36 Months: Delta IV WGS-3

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:24 am via: source
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Cape Canaveral, Fla., (ULA) – Delta IV is schedule to launch the Air Force’s Wideband Global SATCOM-3 (WGS-3) satellite Dec. 2 at 7:21 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. United Launch Alliance will achieve a special milestone as the Delta IV WGS-3 mission represents the 36th mission launched in 36 months since ULA’s inception Dec. 1, 2006.

This is third WGS satellite ULA will launch for the Air Force. The previous two WGS satellites were launched on an Atlas V in October 2007 and April 2009. The WGS program is the first AF program to launch on both an Atlas V and Delta IV since ULA’s inception. WGS is an important element of a new high-capacity satellite communications system providing enhanced communications capabilities to our troops in the field for the next decade and beyond.

The WGS-3 encapsulated spacecraft prior to mating to the Delta IV rocket at Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

The WGS-3 encapsulated spacecraft prior to mating to the Delta IV rocket at Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

ULA was formed Dec. 1, 2006, as a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and The Boeing Company, bringing together two of the launch industry’s most experienced and successful teams—the Lockheed Martin Atlas and Boeing Delta teams. ULA’s first launch occurred only 14 days later as a Delta II rocket launched NROL-21 from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., on Dec. 14, 2006. Since then, 34 more successful launches have occurred from both CCAFS and VAFB including 21 Delta II, 11 Atlas V and three Delta IV missions. It is noted that two of the three Delta IV missions were the Delta IV Heavy configuration, which launches three common booster cores at once. It is appropriate since the Air Force was the driving force behind the creation of ULA that an Air Force launch will serve as ULA’s 36th mission in 36 months!

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