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United Launch Alliance Atlas V Successfully Launches AF WGS-2 Satellite

April 3, 2009

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., April 3 /PRNewswire/ — A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket successfully launched the Air Force’s second Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite into orbit at 8:31 p.m. EDT, today. WGS-2 joins the service’s first WGS satellite, which also launched on an Atlas V Oct. 10, 2007. Today’s launch, along with WGS-1, took place from Space Launch Complex 41. The WGS system will significantly increase the communications capabilities for troops in the field.

“ULA congratulates the Air Force and our mission partners on the successful launch of WGS-2,” said James Bell, ULA WGS Mission Manager. “ULA is proud of its continuing role of providing reliable assured access to space for the Air Force’s critical missions. WGS is a force multiplier for our troops in the field who defend America’s freedom everyday.”

The WGS-2 mission is the second installment of the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) system. The WGS satellites are important elements of a new high-capacity satellite communications system providing enhanced communications capabilities to America’s troops in the field for the next decade and beyond. WGS enables more robust and flexible execution of Command and Control, Communications Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), as well as battle management and combat support information functions. WGS-2 augments the existing service of the WGS-1 satellite by providing additional information broadcast capabilities.

This mission was launched by an Atlas V 421 configuration, which uses a 4-meter diameter payload fairing, two solid rocket motors, and a single-engine Centaur upper stage attached to a single common core booster powered by the RD-180 engine. This was the 15th launch in Atlas V program history. The 14 previous Atlas V launches included two missions for NASA, two for the United States Air Force, three for the National Reconnaissance Office and seven for commercial customers.

Formed in 2006, ULA combines the successful Atlas and Delta expendable launch vehicle programs offering cost-effective and reliable launch services to U.S. government customers, including the Department of Defense, NASA, the NRO, and commercial organizations.

ULA’s next launch, currently scheduled for Apr. 28, is a Delta IV carrying the NASA NOAA GOES-O satellite from Space Launch Complex-37 with a launch window of 6:24-7:24 p.m. EDT.

ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located in Denver, Colo.; Decatur, Ala.; Harlingen, Texas; and San Diego, Calif. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

For more information on the ULA joint venture, visit the ULA Web site at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321).

SOURCE United Launch Alliance


Source: newswire



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