The United States Air Force catapults into orbit the next generation WGS-9 satellite atop the Delta IV rocket which could significantly increase the targeting capabilities of military forces on the field. The Wideband Global SATCOM-9 was launched at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. According to Vice Commander Air Force Space Command, Major General David Thompson, the whole launching was "fully successful".
The WGS-9 military satellite was funded by six allied nations including the United States, Canada, Denmark, the Netherland, among others. The Air Force considers Delta IV WGS-9 as exponential addition to the earlier WGS which is already in orbit. For the next several years, WGS-9 is going to be the staple of US military power.
Thompson explained that WGS-9 is going to aid airmen, marines, sailors and soldiers on the field. Even the White House Communication Agency, the State Department and international partners can benefit from the communications satellite. Thompson added that Delta IV WGS-9 is capable of long-haul communications at a high data rate, Phys.org reported.
Incidentally, Delta IV's mission for Delta IV WGS-9 coincides with the 70th anniversary of the United States Air Force. In fact, the payload parts carried decals that commemorate the funding of USAF since 1947. The fantastic rocket launch streaked and illuminated the nighttime sky.
Meanwhile, there is a planned launch later which could utilize the SpaceX Falcon 9 which will carry another orbital satellite among the WGS-9 family. Cape Canaveral seems to be very busy this 2017 as a total of four rocket launch are ongoing. Delta IV WGS-9 is the third among the successful launch and Falcon 9 may yet deliver another payload into space. To recall, Falcon 9 delivered the Dragon for its rendezvous with the International Space Station in 2012.
Delta IV WGS-9 also served as the 118th successful launch of the United Launch Alliance. The company reached this impressive record in short stint, spanning from its formation in 2006. ULA is a joint venture between US powerhouses Boeing and Lockheed Martin.