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ULA Delta IV successfully launches WGS-4 satellite

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A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket blasts off from SLC-37 at 7:38 pm. EST with Air Force's WGS-4 satellite. Photo: ULA.

CAPE CANAVERAL AFS (BNS): The United Launch Alliance has successfully launched the Wideband Global SATCOM-4 (WGS-4) satellite for the United States Air Force on Thursday.

This mission was launched aboard a Delta IV Medium-plus configuration vehicle using a ULA single common booster core powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68 main engine, along with four Alliant Techsystems GEM 60 solid rocket motors. The five-meter diameter upper stage was powered by a PWR RL10B-2 engine with the satellite encapsulated in a five-meter diameter composite payload fairing.

"WGS was the first of the new constellation of satellites to integrate and launch on both the Delta IV and Atlas V vehicles -- the first two on Atlas and now, with WGS-4, the second one on our Delta IV launch system," Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Mission Operations, said.

Wideband Global SATCOM provides anytime, anywhere communication for the warfighter through broadcast, multicast, and point to point connections. WGS is the only military satellite communications system that can support simultaneous X and Ka band communications.

ULA's next launch is the Atlas V launch of the United States Navy's Mobile User Objective System-1 (MUOS-1), scheduled for Febuary 16th, 2012 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

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