Friday, March 06, 2009

WGS-2 Spacecraft Launch Set

According to Aviation Week and Space Technlogy, the U.S. Air Force's second Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) spacecraft is nearing launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on March 13. Liftoff off is scheduled from Space Launch Complex 41 during a 38-minute launch window from 9:25 p.m. to 10:03 p.m. EST.

If it launches on schedule, and following an orbit raising and checkout period, WGS-2 should be operational by September.

WGS-2 is the second of six Boeing 702-based satellites built for the WGS constellation, which is replacing the Defense Satellite Communications System. Designed to last 10-15 years, WGS-2 will provide communications to troops in the Middle East and elsewhere. WGS-3 is expected to launch in July or August of this year.

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