Delta IV Delivers Sixth WGS Satellite

The Mobile Service Tower is rolled back at Space Launch Complex 37 in preparation for the launch. (Photo: United Launch Alliance, LLC)

A Delta IV rocket launched into the dusk from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 37 Wednesday, Aug. 7, carrying the sixth Wideband Global SATCOM high-capacity communications satellite.

The WGS-6 was financed by Australia, as part of a partnership allowing that country to use the joint services communications satellite network.

From the Cape, Ray Johnson, Aerospace vice president, Space Launch Operations, reported that liftoff occurred in the opening seconds of the mission’s launch window at 8:29 p.m. Eastern time.

“It was a very clean flight with no significant issues identified,” Johnson said. “I want to congratulate the very busy Delta team on this successful launch.”

Flying in the Medium + (5,4) configuration, which features a five-meter upper stage and payload fairing, plus four strap-on solid rocket motors for added liftoff thrust, the Delta IV took slightly more than 40 minutes to deposit the Boeing-built satellite into a supersynchronous transfer orbit. Controllers will maneuver the WGS into its test orbit over the next three months.